VIF Neighbourhood News Digest - 15 Jan 2018
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Pakistan

National Assembly’s Fata move raises doubts about govt intentions: Dawn

15 January 2018

The much-publicized adoption of the bill proposing extension of jurisdiction of superior courts to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) by the National Assembly has raised many eyebrows, with legal experts expressing skepticism about the government’s intentions. The bill titled “The Supreme Court and High Court (Extension of Jurisdiction to Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Bill 2018” now awaits approval by the Senate and subsequent assent by the president to become an act of parliament. This future law, however, is not enforceable with immediate effect because contrary to the prevalent practice its implementation will be subject to notification by the federal government, which could be different for different tribal areas. Click here to read...

'India is an irresponsible nuclear state,' says Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal: Dawn

14 January 2018

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday stressed that the Indian army chief's statements on 'calling Pakistan's nuclear bluff' prove that "India is an irresponsible nuclear state". "Nuclear weapons are not pistols or slingshots, they are weapons of mass destruction. Therefore people expect nuclear powers to behave responsibly," he said. Iqbal's remarks come a day after the Indian Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat threatened to call Pakistan's 'nuclear bluff'. Click here to read...

Afghanistan

Afghan Govt Holds Unofficial Peace Talks With Taliban: Tolo News

14 January 2018

Afghan government representatives have held unofficial talks with five Taliban members in Turkey on Sunday. Humayun Jarir and Abbas Basir are representing Afghan government in the meeting. Afghan government representatives have held unofficial talks with five Taliban members in Turkey on Sunday. Humayun Jarir, a representative of Afghan government in the talks, told TOLOnews that the talks are unofficial and that they will discuss mechanisms to pave the ground for official talks between the two sides. He said the Taliban members are representing Quetta Shura, Haqqani network and other factions of the Taliban. Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s spokesman Mujib Rahman Rahimi said they welcome any move ends to peace in Afghanistan. Click here to read...

NEPAL

UML, Maoists inch closer to power sharing in provinces: My Republica

15 January 2018

Negotiations between UML and CPN (Maoist Center) to strike a power sharing deal for key constitutional positions have failed to gain expected success after the former staked claim to the post of President and Speaker of the federal parliament. Buoyed by recent success in parliamentary and provincial elections, top interlocutors from the two leftist parties have been working to hash out strategies to take the planned merger to a logical conclusion. Click here to read...

Governors, capitals in three days: PM: My Republica

15 January 2018

After the failure to forge consensus with political parties outside the government, the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government has decided to nominate provincial governors and temporary provincial headquarters in consultation with its coalition partners. Click here to read...

Srilanka

Pakistani army chief to visit Sri Lanka from January 15 to 17: Xinhua

14 January 2018

Pakistani Army Commander Qamar Javed Bajwa will visit Sri Lanka from January 15 to 17 at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahesh Senanayake, a statement from the Pakistani High Commission in Sri Lanka said here on Sunday. During the visit, Bajwa will hold talks on matters of professional interests with Senanayake, the statement said. Bajwa will also call on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to discuss issues of regional security and matters of mutual interest, the statement added. Click here to read...

Bhutan

Bhutan, India celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations: Kuensel

14 January 2018

“The friendship between India and Bhutan is solid as a rock and I have no doubt will always remain so. It’s not only geographical proximity but mutual love and friendship that has kept us close to each other. Nothing is more valuable than mutual friendship and love.” His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who cemented the relations with India, gave this interview to Air India Radio in February 1968 in Delhi, India a few weeks after the posting of the first special officer of India to Bhutan. Fifty years later, in a grand ceremony yesterday, marked with traditional songs and dances, the two foreign ministers unveiled a special logo to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries through a videoconference. Click here to read...

Myanmar

India and Myanmar to streamline free movement for border villagers: Mizzima

15 January 2018

India and Myanmar are set to streamline free movement of people within 16 km along their borders. The Central Government has asked the four States that share an unfenced border with Myanmar to distribute “border passes” to all residents living within 16 km from the boundary line, The Hindu reported on 14 January. The report quoted an official saying both countries had been intending to put a system in place after India raised the issue of free movement of extremists and smugglers across the border. Click here to read...

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