VIF Neighbouhood News Digest: 12th July, 2018

Undeterred by blast, ANP vows to contest polls: Dawn
July 12, 2018

As death toll of the suicide bombing that killed Awami National Party leader Barrister Haroon Bilour surged to 21 with 75 others reportedly injured, the ANP on Wednesday declared that despite the attempts being made to corner it, the party would contest the upcoming general elections. The responsibility for the blast, in which about eight kilograms of TNT explosives were used according to local police, was claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan talking to reporters at Bilour House termed the assassination an attempt to push his party out of the electoral fray. He announced three-day mourning over the incident that had increased party’s reservations about holding of peaceful, independent and transparent elections. But, he added, the party would not be cowed by such incidents. Click here to read...

Zardari rejects money laundering allegations, condemns the 'torture' of Lawai: Dawn
July 12, 2018

Seven individuals, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, were reported by investigators to be involved in using certain bank accounts for suspicious transactions totalling Rs 35 billion. The Supreme Court had ordered the Interior Ministry to place the names of all suspected beneficiaries ─ including Zardari and Talpur ─ and accused persons identified in the case on the Exit Control List, "so that they may not leave the country until the investigation in the matter is concluded or till further orders passed by this court".Click here to read...

NATO Agrees To Extend Funding Of Afghan Forces Through 2024: Tolo News
July 11, 2018

The Heads of State and Government at the NATO meeting in Brussels issued a Brussels Summit Declaration on Wednesday. According to the declaration the NATO nations agreed to extend the financial assistance to Afghan forces for another period of four years after 2020. “As the Afghan government continues to work towards peace and reconciliation, we will continue our assistance by extending our financial sustainment of the Afghan forces through 2024 and by pledging to fill staffing shortfalls, especially in priority areas,” the declaration said. “We reaffirm our commitment to ensure long-term security and stability in Afghanistan,” the declaration added. “Our Resolute Support Mission is achieving success in training, advising, and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.” The NATO allies meanwhile called on Pakistan, Iran and Russia to support the Afghan peace process. Click here to read...

Bangladesh looks at India to fulfil its ‘power for all’ promise: Livemit

Electricity-starved Bangladesh has hit upon a novel model that involves wheeling power from projects being set up in India across the fuel sources to help meet its energy demands, said a top official in the Sheikh Hasina-led government. This comes in the backdrop of India pushing for cross-border energy trade, with energy diplomacy being a key part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s South Asia-focused neighbourhood-first policy. Also, such a mechanism will help Bangladesh meet its ambitious target of providing ‘electricity to all’ by 2021.
“This is a very new idea which actually has germinated recently because we see that the price in India has gone down whereas in Bangladesh, we have given like many projects so far but none of them have been successful. Even with a very high tariff. So that means that if someone is not developing his projects, there is a problem,” Ahmad Kaikaus, Secretary of power division, in Bangladesh’ Power, Energy and Mineral Resources ministry, told Mint. Click here to read...

With Li's visit, China, Europe committed to free trade: People’s Daily
July 12, 2018

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife ended their trip to Europe Tuesday with a private dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband at Hugos Restaurant with a panoramic view from the top floor of InterContinental Hotel in Berlin. The couples were pictured talking intimately by picture windows with a glass of wine in hands. At the dinner that lasted for hours, they chatted about bilateral ties, cooperation, as well as history and art. Filled with an amicable and result-oriented air, the dinner was the epitome of the Chinese premier's six-day stay in Europe, the first since China's new cabinet was formed in March. Click here to read...

Latest US tariff threat slammed: People's Daily
July 12, 2018

China denounced the United States' latest threat to impose tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as "totally unacceptable" trade hegemony and bullying, and vowed on Wednesday to fight back to protect its "core interests". It is totally unacceptable for the US to publish a tariff list in a way that escalates tensions, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. Click here to read...

China is “exerting negative pressure” on the DPRK? Apparently, the world disagrees: People's Daily
July 11, 2018

US President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that China might be “exerting negative pressure” on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) because of trade tensions with the United States, and this might be the reason behind the DPRK’s recent criticism of the United States. Click here to read...

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