VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 31, 2020

Pakistan strongly condemns desecration of Quran in Sweden and Norway: DAWN

The Foreign Office on Sunday strongly condemned recent incidents in Sweden and Norway in which copies of the Holy Quran were reportedly burnt, saying that "freedom of speech can't justify religious hatred". In a statement issued on Twitter, FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri further said: "The rise of such Islamophobic occurrences goes against the spirit of any religion." Click here to read...

Major Parties Oppose Ghani’s Reconciliation Council List: TOLO News

The new member list of the High Council for National Reconciliation, announced in a decree by President Ghani on Saturday, has been met with mixed reactions by major political parties and politicians. Some on the list, such as former president Hamid Karzai, have rejected their membership, while others have welcomed it. The council has 10 members in leadership positions, nine women members, nine high-ranking government officials, and 19 who are an assortment of political figures and former mujahideen leaders. Click here to read...

Govt planning to pay MPO salaries via MFS: Dhaka Tribune

The government is planning to pay salaries to the teachers and employees of private educational institutions under the Monthly Pay Order (MPO) scheme through mobile financial services (MFS). The money will be disbursed through the government to person (GTP) system to avoid third party involvement, with Bangladesh Bank supervising the mobile transfers, reports Bangla Tribune. Click here to read...

Long-haul public transport and domestic flights not to resume until September 16: The Kathmandu Post

The government has decided not to resume long-haul bus services and domestic flights until September 16. A Cabinet meeting took the decision to that effect in light of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country. “We have decided to continue the restrictions on long-distance vehicles and domestic flights until September 16,” said Lekhraj Bhatta, minister for industry, commerce and supplies. “Earlier the government’s plan was to resume domestic flights and long-haul bus services from August 17, but due to the increase in the virus cases we have decided to continue the restrictions.” Click here to read...

US Defence Sec. commends Prez on handling COVID-19; discusses military professionalization: Daily Mirror

US Secretary of Defence, Dr. Mark T. Esper, phoned President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday and congratulated the President on his successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Department of Defence said. In a statement, the Department said Secretary Esper also congratulated the President on the recently concluded parliamentary elections and urged continued progress on reconciliation and human rights in Sri Lanka. Click here to read...

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