VIF Neighbourhood News Digest - 13 Feb 2018


Anti-terror law amended to ban UN-listed groups, individuals: Dawn

13 Feb, 2018

President Mamnoon Hussain last Friday quietly promulgated an ordinance amending the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 with regards to proscription of terrorist individuals and organisations to include entities listed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) — in a move that would end a longstanding ambiguity over the status of Hafiz Saeed-linked Jamaat ud Dawa and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) by firmly placing them on the list of proscribed groups. The promulgation of the ordinance was made public on Monday. The ordinance amends Sections 11-B and 11-EE of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (XXVII of 1997). Section 11-B sets out parameters for proscription of groups, whereas 11-EE describes the grounds for listing of individuals. Both sections would now include Sub-Section ‘aa’, according to which organisations and individuals “listed under the United Nations (Security Council) Act, 1948 (XIV of 1948), or” will be included in the First Schedule (for organisations) and Fourth Schedule (for individuals), respectively, on an ex-parte basis. Click here to read...


New Book Exposes Pakistan’s Huge Support of Taliban: Tolo News

12 Feb, 2018

In his new book “Directorate S”, prominent American author Steve Coll has revealed that Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been providing massive support to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. The book titled "Directorate S" refers to the arm of Pakistani intelligence that covertly supports the Afghan Taliban. It has been written on the basis of classified documents and interviews with over 500 individuals who in some way were involved in affairs related to Afghanistan. In his book, Coll writes that the amount of ISI support to militant groups in Afghanistan was so extensive that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) initially thought that Pakistan’s top military officials had themselves been caught in the hook of Islamic radicalism.Click here to read...


UML and Maoist Centre set for final unity deal: Kathmandu Post

13 Feb, 2018

After more than four-month long efforts that started well before last year’s elections, the two left parties are close to striking a deal on party unification, a move that comes days before the possible formation of the new government. On October 3, the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) made a surprise announcement of formation of the left alliance, which they said would contest the election together. They also agreed on possible merger of the parties. After the left swept the polls in December, unification talks slowed down by doubts and Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s suspicion that his own ambition for party leadership and government could fade in UML’s resurgence. The two parties’ unification was on hold after UML Chairman Oli was reluctant to hand over the reins of the unified outfit to Dahal, while he would lead the government. Click here to read...


Myanmar government declares 2 armed groups non-terrorist organizations: Mizzima

12 Feb, 2018

The Myanmar government declared two ethnic armed groups on Sunday non-terrorist organizations, according to an order issued by the Home Ministry. The two groups, the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU), were also removed from the list of unlawful organizations, said another order of the ministry. The orders came two days before the government is scheduled to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Accord (NCA) with the two armed groups in Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday. The NMSP and the LDU, which are members of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), will be the first two armed groups signing the NCA with the incumbent government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD).Click here to read...


BNP vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu held: Daily Observer

12 Feb, 2018

Police on Monday detained BNP vice chairman Shamsuzzaman Dudu from city's Ramna area. BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said police detained Shamsuzzaman Dudu near Matshya Bhaban while returning from party's human chain programme. He said police held Dudu on his way home after joining a peaceful programme which was unjust and totally undemocratic. BNP today formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club protesting the jailing of its chief Khaleda Zia.Click here to read...


Spotlight: High-level inter-Korean meetings signal improvement of relations: Xinhuanet

12 Feb 2018

The recent high-level meetings between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea on the occasion of rare rapprochement ushered in by the DPRK have singled a kind of improvement of relations between the two Koreas. The inter-Korean meetings took place during a three-day historic visit by a high-ranking delegation dispatched by the DPRK to attend the opening ceremony of the ongoing PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea.Click here to read...

Sun Zhengcai charged with bribery: Xinhuanet

13 Feb 2018

Sun Zhengcai, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has been charged with bribery, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) said Tuesday. The indictment paper has been delivered to the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin by the first branch of the Tianjin People's Procuratorate. Click here to read...

In visit to space center, Xi calls for improvements to launches: China Daily

13 Feb 2018

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, urged officers at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province to further improve their space-launch capabilities. Xi inspected the launch center on Saturday during his visit to Sichuan, touring launch pads and prelaunch facilities, People’s Liberation Army Daily reported on Monday. Click here to read...

CCDI highlights further reform of national supervision system: China Daily

13 Feb 2018

Comprehensively pushing forward the reform of China's national supervision system has been highlighted as a key task of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in 2018. According to the work report delivered at the second plenary session of the 19th CCDI by Zhao Leji, secretary of the commission, the CCDI should strengthen its collaboration with the National People's Congress (NPC), and pave the way for the passing of the supervision law, and the establishment of the national supervision commission at the first session of the 13th NPC, scheduled to open on Mar 5.Click here to read...

China starts work on world’s biggest test site for drone ships at gateway to South China Sea: South China Morning Post

13 Feb 2018

China has started building the world’s biggest test site for unmanned vessels at one of the country’s gateways to the South China Sea. The facility is being built in the waters around Zhuhai, in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, and will cover 21.6 square kilometres (8.34 square miles) in its first phase, according to, a Guangzhou Daily news site. Click here to read...

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