VIF Neighbourhood News Digest - 18 Jan 2018
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PAKISTAN

US to continue military training, Senate panel told: Dawn
18 Jan, 2018

The United States has conveyed to Pakistan that the military training component of the aid would continue despite suspension of the security assistance package. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua informed the Senate’s foreign affairs committee on Wednesday that the US would continue funding the aid components that support their national interest, including the International Military Education and Training (IMET) part. The IMET programme, which focuses on military education, is meant to establish a rapport between the US military and the recipient country’s military for building alliances for the future. Under this programme, Pakistan Army officers have been trained in the US at a cost of $52 million over the past 15 years and an allocation of another $4m has been made for the current year. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Work on TAPI Project on Track: Ministry of Mines and Petroleum: Tolo News
18 Jan, 2018

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on Wednesday said the government has taken the necessary steps to implement Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline in the country. The MoMP added that the Afghan government is ready to roll out the project in its country. Construction work on the TAPI pipeline is likely to start in Afghanistan in February, the ministry said. The areas where the pipeline is expected to run through have also been finalized, said the ministry. The project will transport gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India via a 1,814km pipeline. “We have undertaken the necessary arrangements in the security sector and provided facilities for the implementation of the project, a special team has worked on it,” said Abdul Qadeer Mufti, spokesman for the ministry of mines and petroleum. Click here to read...

Afghan army to collapse in six months without US help: Ghani: Dawn
18 Jan, 2018

President Ashraf Ghani has said that the Afghan National Army will not last more than six months without US support and the Afghan government will also collapse. Mr Ghani acknowledged his government’s almost absolute dependence on Washington in an interview to a television show CBS 60 Minutes, broadcast earlier this week. But Gen John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said in the same programme that with America’s new strategy and with increased US pressure on Pak­istan to cooperate, he was certain he could win Washington’s longest war, which was now in its 16th year. Click here to read...

NEPAL

Govt fixes temporary state HQs, governors: Kathmandu Post
18 Jan, 2018

Amid dispute the government on Wednesday declared temporary headquarters of seven provinces and appointed provincial chiefs. The decision was not welcomed by the CPN-UML, who hinted that a new government under the left alliance would ring changes as per the constitutional mandate. A Cabinet meeting held at Baluwatar on Wednesday decided to make Biratnagar temporary headquarters of Province 1 with Govinda Subba being appointed its chief. Janakpur has been announced the Province 2 capital with Ratneshwor Lal Kayastha as its chief; Hetauda has been declared the capital of Province 3 with Anuradha Koirala as its chief. The Cabinet has declared Pokhara the capital of Province 4 and appointed Baburam Kunwar as its provincial chief. Similarly, Butwal has been declared the capital of Province 5 with Umakanta Jha as its chief; Surkhet has been named the Province 6 capital with Durga Khanal as its provincial chief and Dhangadi has been fixed as the capital of Province 7 with Mohan Raj Malla as its chief. Click here to read...

UML, Maoists seal deal on upper house seats: My Republica
18 Jan, 2018

The CPN-UML has reached an agreement with the CPN (Maoist Center), its partner in the left alliance, on sharing of seats of the National Assembly. The 59-member National Assembly will comprise 56 directly elected representatives and three members nominated by the president on the recommendation of the cabinet. Click here to read...

BANGLADESH

Indian Oil planning to enhance fuel trade with Bangladesh, Myanmar: Economic Times
18 Jan, 2018

Indian Oil Corporation, the nation's largest refiner and fossil fuel retailer, is in talks with Bangladesh and Myanmar to enhance trade of petroleum products and offer its expertise to set up oil infrastructure in the two countries. This month, Indian Oil will open offices in Bangladesh and Myanmar, with a plan to closely pursue business opportunities in the two countries. Click here to read...

MYANMAR

China, Myanmar vow to promote ties, maintain peace, stability in border areas: Xinhua
17 Jan, 2018

China and Myanmar held a new round of diplomacy and defense consultations here on Wednesday, pledging to further promote bilateral ties, keep close communication on the situation in northern Myanmar and maintain peace and stability in the border areas between the two countries.The talks were co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou and Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission Shao Yuanming from the Chinese side, and Minister of International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin and Commander-in-Chief of No.1 Bureau of Special Operations (Army) Tun Tun Naung from the Myanmar side. The two sides noted that the leaders of the two countries have maintained frequent exchanges and reached important consensus on advancing all-round strategic bilateral cooperation in the new era, thus injecting new impetus into the development of bilateral ties. Click here to read...

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