VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 1st August, 2018

US opposes IMF bailout for Pakistan: Dawn

August 1, 2018

A day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against any International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout that helps China, Pakistan has vowed that ‘third parties’ cannot weaken its resolve as it undertakes its biggest infrastructure and energy development plan with the help of Beijing. The $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), one of Beijing’s undertakings in its aggressive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has seen China extend billions of dollars in loans and investments to Pakistan that fights to save itself from a balance of payments crisis by devaluing its currency and imposing regulatory duty on imports. However, the measures are proving to be insufficient for the South Asian economy as reserves have fallen to $10 billion, and an IMF bailout seems imminent. Click here to read...


Afghanistan and US look to Taliban for help as Isis attacks rise: The Guardian

August 1, 2018

The suicide bombing and hostage-taking at a government building in Jalalabad is the latest in a series of attacks, attributed to Islamic State terrorists, that have killed or wounded hundreds of people in eastern Afghanistan since mid-June. The Isis offensive appears to be partly in response to stepped-up operations by US special forces and the Afghan army to root out its fighters in Deh Bala and other rural districts of eastern Nangarhar province and thereby disrupt supply lines reaching into Pakistan. But the terrorists’ lethal escalation including Tuesday’s assault has also coincided, probably deliberately, with signs of progress in renewed efforts to halt the 17-year-old, US-orchestrated war between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the country’s principal Islamist insurgent group. Click here to read...


BJP leader says Look South Policy could give Nepal access to sea: Kathmandu Post

August 1, 2018

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Tuesday said Nepal could consider adopting ‘Look South Policy’ since it is landlocked with no direct access to sea. He said this in his keynote speech during the inaugural session of Nepal-India Think Tank Summit 2018, jointly organised by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in Kathmandu. The BJP leader said this policy would help Nepal make a strategic shift, changing the land based thinking to ocean based. Nepal could access the most happening region of Indian Ocean through Kolkata in India and Chittagong in Bangladesh and that this would not just help Nepal, but the other two South Asian countries as well, he said. Click here to read...


New Myanmar Rakhine commission denounced by observers: Business Standard

August 1, 2018

A new commission set up by Myanmar to look into human rights abuses in Rakhine state has been criticised by observers today as a "political gimmick", as the country tries to stave off further censure over its treatment of its Rohingya Muslims. The government announced yesterday evening that an "independent" commission of inquiry had been established but gave no details about its remit, powers or the timeframe given to complete its report. The military tore through Rohingya villages in a campaign that started last August following a spate of insurgent attacks, forcing some 700,000 to flee over the border en masse to Bangladesh. Click here to read...


CPC central committee holds symposium on economic work: Xinhuanet

August 1, 2018

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) convened a symposium earlier this month to listen to the suggestions of leading members of non-Communist parties, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and representatives of personages without party affiliation over the current economic situation and the economic work in the latter half of the year. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the symposium held on July 17 and delivered an important speech emphasizing that the country must capitalize on the advantages of the system of CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation. Click here to read...

PLA to end commercial services: China Daily

August 1, 2018

President Xi Jinping has called for greater resolve and synergy in efforts to put an end to commercial activities of the military across the board. Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission and general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark at a collective study session of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau on Tuesday, one day ahead of Army Day. Click here to read...

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