VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: August 16, 2021
End of republic, Kabul’s first night under Taliban’s control: The Khaama Press

Hours after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani along with his close aides and the first lady left Kabul for Tajikistan, the Taliban entered Presidential Palace ARG.The retreat of Afghan national police from their outposts around the capital left the city in chaos and allow the city to be looted and plundered easily. Though the Taliban earlier on Sunday had said that there is no plan to enter the Afghan capital militarily, the security vacuum in Kabul city made them decide to direct their fighters to enter Kabul and occupy the empty police outposts and police
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President Ashraf Ghani Leaves Afghanistan: Tolo News

Two sources said that President Ashraf Ghani has left the country after the Taliban entered the city on Sunday. According to the sources, his close aides have also left the country along with him. Earlier in the day, acting defense minister Bismillah Mohammadi said that the president has handed the authority of solving the crisis in the country to political leaders. Mohammadi said that a delegation will travel to Doha on Monday for talks on the country’s situation.
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Afghans Seek Clarity, Want End to Bloodshed: Tolo News

Afghans on Sunday asked the government and the Taliban to avoid sacrificing the people further in their dealmaking and to inform the public about the future.They said that any government formed should ensure human rights and should prohibit further violence in the country. People interviewed by TOLO news said they don’t want Afghanistan to collapse into ruins once again and go back to its state two decades ago. Panic spread among residents in the city on Sunday after the Taliban arrived close to the city gates and entered the city in some areas.
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British troops depart to Afghanistan as US staff evacuate: The Khamma Press

600 British troops were planned to be sent to Afghanistan in order to evacuate the country’s nationals based in Afghanistan and their Afghan colleagues. The associated press has found that UK’s forces departed to Afghanistan.The move comes as the United States embassy based in Kabul has started evacuating personnel and the process is said to be completed in the upcoming 72 hours. There are reportedly 3,000 UK nationals and there 2,000 Afghan colleagues who are said to be vacated from the war-ravaged country.
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UN Chief Seeks Immediate End to ‘Taliban Offensive’: Tolo News

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday asked the Taliban to immediately end its offensive and said seizing power through military forces is a losing proposition. “I remind all parties of their obligation to protect civilians and I call on the Taliban to immediately end the offensive and return to the peace table,” Guterres said.“Afghanistan is spinning out of control,” he said. “Every day, the conflict is taking a bigger toll on civilians, especially women and children.” The UN chief said that in the last month alone, more than 1,000 people have been killed or injured from indiscriminate attacks against civilians, notably in Helmand, Kandahar and Herat provinces.
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Afghani Falls against Dollar as Fighting Continues: Tolo News

Afghani fell against the dollar on Saturday as people flocked to banks to withdraw their savings amidst sweeping battle gains by the Taliban.On Saturday morning, one dollar increased to nearly 100 Afs from 80 Afs last week, but it declined to 86 Afs later in the day. Kabul residents raised deep concerns over long lines near ATMs in the city. Moreover, some soldiers have not been paid for months. “Provinces and districts are falling. The result is what you see today,” said Dad Gul, referring to the long lines near ATMs in the city.
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National Mourning Day Observed- Bangladesh Post

“The nation has observed the National Mourning Day and 46th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with due respect and solemnity. People across the country on Sunday paid homage to the greatest son of the soil and the architect of Bangladesh’s independence.”
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Nation pays homage to Bangabandhu- Daily Star

“Floral wreaths covered the memorials of Bangabandhu across the country on National Mourning Day. People from all around, from locals to high-officials, went to the sites to pay their respects towards the Father of the Nation. The memorial at the capital’s Dhanmondi-32 was flooded with innumerable wreath, showing the amount of admiration people have for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and just how much he matters to all Bangladeshis. Programmes were observed in many districts, including Cumilla, Manikganj, Moulvibazar and Chandpur.”
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Rohingya Boat Capsize: UNHCR ready to support rescue work- Daily Star

“UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has said it is in contact with Rohingya communities both on Bhasan Char and in Cox's Bazar to support further rescue efforts following Saturday's boat capsize in Bay of Bengal.”
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Bangladesh yet to tap full export potentials- Daily Sun

“According to the ERD report, RMG, leather, pharmaceuticals, plastics, footwear and shrimp sector have the potential to bag another $18.34 billion in addition to the current export earnings of $31.21 billion a year. Another study of Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) found that Bangladesh can add $4 billion to its export earnings from the Chinese market.”
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Indian High Commission in Dhaka pays homage to Bangabandhu- Daily Sun

“High Commission of India to Bangladesh paid homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman marking the National Mourning Day and the 46th anniversary of his martyrdom. Indian diplomats in Dhaka led by High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami paid rich tributes to the architect of Bangladesh’s independence by placing wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road No 32 in the capital.”
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India shares grief of Bangladesh: HC- The Asian Age

“Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka on Saturday paid homage to memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and said that India shares the grief of Bangladesh. "We are inspired to protect the values Bangabandhu stood for," said the High Commission through its official tweeter post.”
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'Pakistan's synonym is terrorism'- The Asian Age

“Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 President Shahriar Kabir said many western political analysts consider Pakistan to be a country of terror. Pakistan yet to turn into a failed state as this country is dependent on the immense financial assistance of the United States of America and Chin and a lot of this assistance is expended to carry out such terrorist activities.”
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Bangladeshi banks may face asset quality challenge in post-Covid situation- Financial Express

“Maintaining the existing asset quality, now largely helped by generous government support regimes, may emerge as a key challenge in post-pandemic situation for Bangladesh's banking sector.”
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Bhutan’s climate hurdles- The Kuensel

“The country has been a climate and environmental leader. However, its successes in environmental conservation so far have been threatened in a major way by inaction by the larger international community. Being in a fragile Himalayan ecosystem makes it even more vulnerable for the small landlocked country.”
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Bhutan must grab e-commerce opportunities: DTISU- The Kuensel

“The Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity for Bhutan to build digital platforms and e-commerce is one of the components the country can adopt, according to the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update (DTISU) 2020.”
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Women’s National Cricket team begins training at Indian Embassy’s ground- Business Bhutan

“As part of the India@75 ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’ celebrations to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence, the Embassy of India organized an interaction on August 1 between the Ambassador of India to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj and the Women’s National Cricket team of Bhutan.”
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Home in India, job in Bhutan: Border shutdown hits Assam workers- Aljazeera

“Assam’s Chirang district shares a 70km (43-mile) border with Bhutan. The ban on entering the kingdom resulted in the loss of livelihood for hundreds of residents in Chirang, who crossed the border legally to work as daily wage earners.”
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Maldives being a part of MAAC will boost investor and donor confidence, says FM Shahid - Rajje

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid stated that Maldives being a part of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC) establishes the trust of the international community on the nation's tax administration, enabling more loans to be issued to the country. Maldives signed the Convention on August 11, with Maldives Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union (EU) Hassan Sobir signing on behalf of the government at the signing ceremony held at Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Headquarters in Paris.
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Drugs worth over MVR 15 mln seized - Avas

Drugs worth over MVR 15 million have been seized from a Brazilian national who arrived in the Maldives. According to Maldives Customs Service, the luggage of the 31-year-old woman was checked at Velana International Airport (VIA) on Friday, upon which 3.197 kilograms of cocaine was discovered. The street value of the drugs is over 15.9 million, customs said.
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Maldives is now the 128th country in the World Tourism Network - Etravelnews

The Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) is a 100% Maldivian Government SOE mandated to support and foster the development and growth of the mid-market segment of the Tourism Industry. The Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation as authorized by its managing director Mohamed Raaidh joined the World Tourism Network (WTN) as its latest Destination Member. Maldives just joined the World Tourism Network (WTN), making this tourism paradise the 128th country leading this organization
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Over 40,000 students will be given the Pfizer vaccine in Maldives - The edition

The vaccination program aimed at school children started on Sunday. Children under the age of 18 will be provided the Pfizer vaccine. State Minister of Education Ministry Dr. Abdulla Rasheed stated on "Raajje Miadhu" program by Public Service Media (PSM) News last evening that details regarding the vaccination program will be shared with the parents. He said the ministry aims to ensure all students between the aforementioned age bracket receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before August is over.
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Brunei’s Business Links With Myanmar Military Raise Questions Over ASEAN Envoy’s Fitness - The Irrawaddy

Campaign group Justice for Myanmar has released a statement warning that the appointment of Erywan Yusof as ASEAN Special Envoy to Myanmar is not suitable because of Brunei’s state business ties with the Myanmar junta. Brunei’s fully state-owned oil company Brunei Energy Services & Trading, or BEST (formerly Brunei National Petroleum Company, or PetroleumBRUNEI) holds licenses for onshore oil and gas blocks in partnership with International Group of Entrepreneurs (IGE), a crony conglomerate. Licenses were awarded in 2014 under the Myanmar military’s former proxy government led by the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), the press release said.
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Myanmar: Roads To A Federal Army Are Twisted – Eurasiareview

The idea of a Federal Army for Myanmar is as old as the country’s struggle for democracy. The vision is a part of the larger picture of decentralization and democratization of the multiethnic nation of 54 million and was first seriously floated in 1988 as a counterweight to Tatmadaw and to rally the support of ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) during 8888 Uprising. The idea has recently received unprecedented momentum following the ousting of NLD-led civilian government on February 1, 2021.
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Myanmar junta pressurising Northeast militant outfits to join offensive against armed opposition groups: Sources - Northeast Now

The Myanmar junta has been pressurising the militant outfits from Northeast in joining its offensive against armed groups that have been opposing military regime in the Country. This has been confirmed by highly placed sources to this correspondent. Myanmar junta pressurising Northeast militant outfits to join offensive against armed opposition groups: Sources 3. This has led to frustration among the militant outfits from the Northeast, with many mulling to shun violence and return to mainstream.
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Six of Manipur extremist group killed in Myanmar, say officials - The Hindu

At least six members of a Manipur extremist group have been killed in a factional fight in Myanmar, officials said. The decision of some cadre to desert with weapons led to the infighting in which “six to eight” members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were killed and three others injured, a spokesperson of a security agency confirmed. The incident happened on August 10 near the Nanyang Wakathan camp of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang-Yung Aung) in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. The camp is across Pangsau Pass in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
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Myanmar: Asia’s Orphaned Cinderella - Council on Foreign Relations - Council for Foreign Affairs

Six months after the coup d’état of February 1 that occurred the same day of the inauguration of a new parliament, the tragedy of what appears could be a long-running civil war remains a distinct possibility in Myanmar today. Nevertheless, the term “civil war” itself is inappropriate. Rather Myanmar today resembles Europe during the Nazi occupation. While the sense of occupation by a foreign force had always existed in the ethnic minority areas with their insurgent organizations, there is a sense today that this is also the case in the Bamar heartland. The occupying army is Myanmar’s own national army (the Tatmadaw) which, from its foundation, has largely functioned as an autonomous state within a state.
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China Complains After Shell, Gunfire From Myanmar Hit Border Town - The Irrawaddy

Chinese authorities have sent a complaint letter to the Myanmar military after an artillery shell and gunfire from Myanmar struck the Chinese border town of Wanding in Yunnan Province on two occasions last week. The incidents occurred amid fierce fighting between regime troops and ethnic armed groups in northern Shan State.
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KNU Chief: Myanmar Junta Must Change Before Talks Can Start - The Irrawaddy

Karen National Union (KNU) leader General Saw Mutu Sae Poe said dialogue will be fruitless unless Myanmar’s military regime has the political will, three months after he publicly supported talks with the junta. “So long as there is no political will for dialogue to resolve the problems, it is impossible to place our hope in dialogue,” said the general in his address to 71st Karen Martyrs’ Day on Thursday.
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Rohingya Without Myanmar ID Not Being Given COVID-19 Jab: Junta - The Irrawaddy

The Rohingya, the stateless Muslim community in Rakhine State, are not yet included in the regime’s national vaccination program, according to the military authorities. “They are not on the vaccination list for the time being. Priority is given to citizens under state policy. We will vaccinate all the citizens regardless of their religion and race. As vaccines are bought with public funds, citizens have to be given priority,” said U Hla Thein, spokesman for the state’s military governing body.
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Myanmar Junta’s Caretaker Government on Course to Fail - The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military regime, which has dubbed itself the State Administration Council since the February 1 coup, recently proclaimed that it was inaugurating a caretaker government which will step down after cleaning up the mess left behind by what the junta regards as an incompetent and corrupt National League for Democracy (NLD) administration. An election is supposed to follow sometime in 2023 and a new government will then be inaugurated.
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As junta directs its attention elsewhere, AA strengthens its hold over Rakhine State - Myanmar Now

On August 1, the United League of Arakan (ULA)—the political wing of the Arakan Army (AA)—announced that it would be establishing its own judiciary in areas under its control. The move, which comes just months after the Myanmar junta removed the group from its list of terrorist organizations, and less than a year into a ceasefire with the military that ended two years of fierce fighting, is just the latest evidence of its rapidly growing influence over life in northern Rakhine State.
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More Than 1,100 Myanmar Troops Killed in Clashes With Local Militias Over Two Months - RFA

At least 1,130 Myanmar soldiers were killed and 443 wounded in more than 700 clashes between junta forces and local militias across the country from June 1 to July 31, Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG) said in a report released on Aug. 9. More than 350 civilians were killed, and nearly 140 wounded, during the same period, the NUG’s Defense Ministry said, adding that government losses occurred during armed clashes and in targeted assassinations of military informants and others working for the junta.
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Myanmar objects to BRO presence in trilateral KMTT road project - Economic Times

Myanmar has conveyed its apprehension over the deployment of the Border Road Organisation (BRO) for the completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport (KMTT) project, the Union government informed the parliamentary committee on home affairs. The military in Myanmar seized control in February this year, forcing thousands of Myanmarese nationals to seek shelter in India.
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Chinese Media’s Conflicting Narratives on the Myanmar Coup - The Diplomat

The coup d’état that occurred in Myanmar in February 2021, when the military seized power from the democratically elected government, has attracted an enormous amount of international attention. While most major powers expressed concern and condemnation of both the coup and the following violence against protesters and urged the restoration of democracy, China has been reserved, not expressing any negative comments regarding the event.
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1793 new Covid-19 cases, 1867 recoveries, 33 more deaths reported on Sunday- The Himalaya

“Nepal's coronavirus caseload reached 732,272 on Sunday with 1,793 more people testing positive for the infection in the past 24 hours.”
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Left-democratic alliance till next elections: Dahal- The Himalaya
“CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal presented a political report at the party's Central Committee proposing to keep the left-democratic alliance intact till the next general elections.”
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Victims of wage theft, migrant Nepalis are losing hope of recovering their money- Kathmandu Post

“According to the Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC), a group working for the welfare of migrant workers, 720 cases of wage theft involving Nepalis have been recorded in various labour destinations since the start of the pandemic. These employers owe the victimised workers around Rs 4 million, according to the committee.”
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Maoist party fears becoming irrelevant, stresses reforms- Kathmandu Post

“The Dahal-led Maoist party has long been lobbying for a directly-elected President but due to its weakened strength in the second Constituent Assembly, the party was unable to enshrine the idea in the constitution. But the central committee meeting has again called for a directly-elected presidential system and a proportional representation election system saying they are needed for resolving the existing problems in governance.”
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Indian Ambassador calls on Acting NA Chief Sharma- Nepal Live Today

“Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra met with Acting Chief of Nepal Army Prabhuram Sharma at latter’s office Bhadrakali on Friday. According to Army Public Relations Directorate, they held discussions on matters of bilateral relations and mutual benefit.”
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Afghanistan crisis: Nepal launches rescue efforts for Nepalis in trouble- Online Khabar

“As the Taliban revolt reaches its peak in Afghanistan with the country’s government giving in to them, the government of Nepal has launched efforts to rescue Nepalis living in the troubled country. In a statement on Sunday evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu has called the Nepalis in Afghanistan to contact the ministry by filling up a form.”
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Nepali Congress general convention deferred until November- Online Khabar

“Nepali Congress’ general convention has been postponed till November. The central committee meeting on Saturday decided that the general convention will now be held from November 25 to 29, informed central committee member Min Biswakarma.”
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Catastrophic Floods Leave Melamchi Project In Uncertainty- The Rising Nepal

“hile the Melamchi Water Supply Development Board (MWSDB) is hopeful about channelising the water of the Melamchi River into the tunnel through alternative and temporary measures, immediate solutions have not been found as the almost-complete head works remains buried under about 15 to 20-metre-thick debris.”
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China cannot take India's place as a special neighbour: Nepal- Times of India

“As the ruling Nepali Congress completed a month of its governance on Friday, the party said that China cannot take India's place as a "special" neighbour, and asserted its decision to solve the Limpiyadhura-Kalapani-Lipulekh region issue through diplomatic means.”
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Nepal to receive 4 million doses of Moderna vaccines through COVAX- Economic Times

“Nepal is set to receive nearly four million doses of coronavirus Moderna vaccines, financed by the World Bank, through the COVAX cost-share option, local media reported on Saturday.”
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Indian Mission in Nepal observes 75th Independence Day- ANI

“The celebrations began with the hoisting of the national flag by the Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who then read out the message of the President of India on the occasion. The President's message highlighted the progress in various fields in the past 75 years and paid tribute to freedom fighters who laid their lives for the independence of India.”
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NSC meets today to deliberate on situation: Dawn

Prime Minister Imran Khan has convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Committee on Monday (today) to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Informed sources told Dawn that the meeting, to be chaired by the prime minister and attended by civil and military leadership and high ranking officials, would ponder over the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan and possible challenges for Pakistan.

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Roshan Digital Account inflows reach $2bn in 11 months: Dawn

Foreign exchange inflows from overseas Pakistanis through the expensive Roshan Digital Account (RDA) crossed the $2 billion mark in 11 months on Monday and will now require more than Rs13.1bn subsidy to maintain its growth. “Roshan Digital Account deposits cross $2billion in just 11 months,” the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in a tweet. “As Pakistanis all over the world celebrated country’s Independence Day, #RoshanDigitalAccount crosses the historical milestone of $2bn in deposits,” it added.

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No plans to shut down embassy in Kabul yet: FO: The Express Tribune

Pakistan says it has no plans to shut down its embassy in Kabul as the Taliban forces started entering the Afghanistan capital after taking all the major cities, including Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif, across the country. In a statement on Sunday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that Islamabad was monitoring the situation in Kabul as the situation deteriorated rapidly in the country. The spokesperson said the Pakistani nationals in the war-torn country were being assisted and there were no plans to close the embassy as of yet.

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Imran, Erdogan discuss rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan: The Express Tribune

Shortly after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's presidential palace following president Ashraf Ghani's departure from the country, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday as the two leaders reviewed the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said. The statement said that the premier conveyed that Pakistan was extending facilitation in the evacuation of diplomatic personnel and staff of international organisations and others in Kabul, as requested.

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High-level Afghan delegation arrives in Islamabad as Taliban surround Kabul: The Express Tribune

As the Taliban forces started entering the Afghanistan capital after taking all the major cities, including Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif, a high-level delegation of Afghan political leadership including Speaker Wolesi Jirga Mir Rehman Rehamni arrived in Islamabad on Sunday.

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PM to launch single national curriculum today: Shafqat: The News

Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood Sunday said Prime Minister Imran Khan would formally launch the single national curriculum (SNC) on Monday (today). Addressing a press conference here, he said the curriculum had already been implemented in Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, whereas it was not yet implemented in Sindh.The new curriculum would be implemented in all public, private schools and madrasas, he said.

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Sri Lanka
Taliban denies links to LTTE - DailyMirror

The Taliban insists it had no links with the LTTE before or after the defeat of the rebels.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Mirror, Taliban spokesman and international negotiator Suhail Shaheen said that the Taliban is an independent liberation force. “We don’t have any links to the Tamil Tigers. We are an independent liberation force which struggled against the foreign occupation for the last 20 years for the liberation of our country, Afghanistan,” Shaheen said.

Shaheen briefly spoke to Daily Mirror from Doha even as the Taliban captured major cities in Afghanistan and was at the gates of the capital Kabul yesterday. The spokesman said that they were negotiating with the Afghanistan government for a peaceful transfer of power.

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India intervenes at the highest level to release Sri Lanka- bound syringes stuck at Delhi-UP border - DailyMirror

The consignment of 800,000 disposable syringes donated by India was stuck at Delhi- Uttar Pradesh during transportation in a truck to the Indira Gandhi International Airport, but the highest level intervention by the Indian External Affairs Ministry cleared it for dispatch by air to Sri Lanka on August 14, 2021, official sources said.

Delhi is declared a high-security zone in view of Independence Day every year.

Thus, According to the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi contacted the Indian External Affairs Ministry, in the meantime, asking for assistance to facilitate the transportation of the stock of syringes to the Delhi airport to be dispatched to Sri Lanka.
Afterwards, the Ministry instructed the Delhi Police Headquarters and the other relevant police authorities to facilitate the movement of the track to the airport because of India’s strategic relationship with Sri Lanka and the nature of the product.

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Sri Lanka records world’s fourth-highest daily deaths by population amid lockdown calls - Economynext

As authorities continue to resist calls for a lockdown Sri Lanka has become the country with the fourth-highest deaths per million persons after Georgia and Tunisia and Malaysia among countries with a population over a million, an analysis of global data showed.

The island nation also saw the 6,000 death mark on Sunday with the last 1,000 deaths being reported in just eight days, compared to 15 days for the previous 1000.
Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) says deaths had risen 48 per cent as of last week compared to the previous week while the covid positive rate has gone up by another 30 per cent in the same period.

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Govt. to adopt new mechanism to fast-track FDIs - The Sunday Times

Sri Lanka is set to adopt a vibrant mechanism to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) amid concern that the authorities are likely to fall short of the target of US$2.5 billion this year. According to latest official projections, FDI is expected to be subdued to a level of $800 million in 2021, little over $670 million achieved in 2020.

With the aim of fast-tracking foreign investment a vibrant mechanism has been devised by the Finance Ministry to receive, evaluate and approve investment proposals, Ministry sources said. In order to meet the urgent FDI need of the country, the new mechanism is to be implemented to facilitate the line ministries and government agencies for the expeditious execution of investment proposals.

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Chinese pharma company to set up Covid-19 vaccine plant in Sri Lanka - DailyMirror

China and Sri Lanka are set to deepen their bilateral “vaccine diplomacy” with a leading Chinese pharma company preparing to set up a manufacturing plant to make anti-Covid jabs in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s home district, Hambantota

The new plant will be set up under an agreement that will allow Colombo to source nine million Covid-19 vaccine doses from the Chinese pharma company that sets it up, Sri Lankan ambassador to China, Palitha Kohona, told the Hindustan Times.

A deal between Sri Lanka’s State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), a state-owned enterprise, and China’s Sinovac Biotech is “fairly close to completion,” Kohana said.

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