Some freed Taliban prisoners have returned to battlefield: Muslimyar
The Khaama Press | 7th July
 
The Chairman of the Afghan Senate Fazal Hadi Muslimyar has said some of the freed Taliban prisoners have returned to battlefield.
Speaking during a general session of the Upper House of Parliament, Muslimyar said a large number of Taliban prisoners who were freed by the government have returned to battlefield.
Muslimyar further added that he was not against the release of Taliban prisoners but emphasized that he is against the release of those inmates who return to battlefield.

 

India permits entry for Maldivians seeking critical medical care
The Edition | 8th July
 
The Indian government granted approval for Maldivian citizens to travel to India for critical medical care not covered under Maldives' national health insurance provider Aasandha.
The arrangement, introduced for individuals in need of critical care which is unavailable in Maldives, was finalised following discussions between Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Ambassador of India to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir.
Individuals that wish to travel to India for urgent medical purposes can submit an application to the consular department of the foreign ministry.

 

Nepal received India’s diplomatic note on the country’s new map last month, says NA panel
The Himalayan Times | 9th July
 
The Government of India had sent a diplomatic note to Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the Government of Nepal published a new political and administrative map of the country, depicting Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani as the country’s territories.
Chair of the Delegated Rights Management and Government Assurance Committee of the National Assembly, Narayan Bidari told THT that Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told his committee thpat New Delhi had, on June 24, sent a diplomatic note to Nepal, protesting the depiction of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani as Nepal’s territories. India has political and administrative control over these territories and claims as its own.

 

AFGHANISTAN

 
Pandemic crisis: Tough challenge for people of Afghanistan amid COVID-19
The Khaama Press | 6th July
The first case to test positive for COVID-19 in Afghanistan was reported on February 24 in western Herat province. The patient was a newly deported Afghan who had arrived from Iran. Since February 24, the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has increased. Initially, one of the key reasons for the high rate of infection was that Tehran continued to deport Afghan asylum-seekers at an accelerated rate, sending them to Afghanistan through Herat province as the crisis began.   
 
US contributes $49m to assist food-insecure communities in Afghanistan
Afghanistan Times | 8th July
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a new contribution of US$ 49 million from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance towards program that help meet the food and nutrition needs of vulnerable communities in the country.
“Providing food assistance to the most vulnerable families during these uncertain times is important,” said Peter Natiello, Mission Director for USAID Afghanistan. “USAID is pleased to partner with WFP to help communities become more resilient to the current needs.”
 
Pakistan Calls for Early Start to Intra-Afghan Talks
Daily Outlook Afghanistan | 8th July
Pakistan has called on the global fraternity to focus on ensuring an early start and successful completion of intra-Afghan negotiations.
It once again blamed unnamed “spoilers” who did not wish to see the restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. The world was urged not to let such elements succeed.
Participating in a virtual conference in Kabul on Strengthening Consensus for Peace, Pakistan underlined the importance of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan for peace and stability in the region and beyond.

 

BANGLADESH

 
Bangladesh role model in combating terrorism
Bangladesh Post | 9th July
The militant attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in the capital’s posh Gulshan area on July 1 in 2016, which left 29 people – mostly foreigners – dead, dealt a big blow to the image of Bangladesh.
Many international agencies decided to shut their offices in Bangladesh and a large number of foreigners left the country following the attack, posing a great challenge to the government in maintaining foreign relations and keeping the pace of development activities.
 
Shortest parliament session in Bangladesh history prorogued
Prothom Alo | 9th July
The 8th session of 11th parliament was prorogued on Thursday after only nine sittings, reports news agency UNB.
This is the shortest budget session in the history of Bangladesh as only two days were allotted for holding discussions on the budget for 2020-21 fiscal. The discussions on supplementary budget 2019-20 were held just for one day.
Eighteen MPs took part in the budget discussions and they talked for around five hours and 18 minutes.
 
Anti-corruption purge must go on: PM
Bangladesh Post | 9th July
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government would continue the dragnet against those involved in corruption and irregularities irrespective of their political affiliation, reports BSS.
“We have been trying our best to check corruption and irregularities since the Awami League assumed office. The drives against the menaces would be continued in the days to come as we cannot tolerate those anymore,” she said in parliament.
The Leader of the House said it is not a big matter who belongs to which party, adding that her government makes arrests of the corrupt elements irrespective of their political identities.

 

BHUTAN

 
Phase II of relief kidu begins 
Kuensel | 9th July
The second phase of the Druk Gyalpo’s Relief Kidu to provide further support for people whose lives were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic began last week.  
The first phase of the relief kidu supported over 23,000 individuals during the first three months from April to June. In addition, over 13,000 children from affected families also received child support Kidu of Nu 800 each.

 

MALDIVES

 
Maldives signs two agreements with UN
The Edition | 9th July
The Maldivian government and the United Nations (UN), signed two project agreements during a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and UN Resident Coordinator Catherine Haswell signed the agreements.
The first project, financed by a USD 1.4 million commitment from the Joint SDG Fund, supports the operationalization of an Integrated National Finance Framework (INFF) process in Maldives.
 
India establishes ferry services for students in Fehendhoo, Baa Atoll
The Edition | 9th July
The Ministry of Education, completed the handover ceremony for the vessel facilitating student ferry services between Fehendhoo and Goidhoo in Baa Atoll.
The project, completed under an MVR 2.5 million grant from the Indian government, is intended to ensure safe transportation for students in Fehendhoo that travel to the neighbouring island of Goidhoo to attend school on a daily basis.
Establishment of ferry services was funded under a grant of MVR 106 million arranged by India in March 2019 in order to conduct socio-economic development.

 

MYANMAR

 
Occult’ Statues of Buddha Undergoing Alterations After Removal From Myanmar Monastery
The Irrawaddy | 9th July
After their removal from a monastery compound in Naypyitaw due to unorthodox designs and features incorporating “occult practices”, more than five dozen Buddha statues are now undergoing alterations in Mandalay to ensure they embody the grace appropriate to a Buddha statue.
The 66 statues were donated by members of the country’s former military regime. Myanmar’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture ordered the removal of the stone figures, saying their designs were “disgraceful” and went against the tenets of Theravada Buddhism, the country’s dominant religion.
 
Myanmar Health Ministry Urges Diligence to Prevent Second COVID-19 Wave
The Irrawaddy | 9th July
The Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) has warned people to follow COVID-19 guidelines in order to prevent a second wave of the pandemic in the country.
The MOHS has issued a number of warnings in the past week as people have become disenchanted and reluctant to change their behaviors now that the initial panic over COVID-19 has passed.
Many countries, including the US, Brazil, the UK, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have seen record-breaking spikes in daily COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
 
 

NEPAL

 
Government allows public vehicles to resume service by following health and safety protocols
The Kathmandu Post | 9th July
The government has announced to allow public vehicles to resume their service from Friday.
The lockdown restrictions, however, have not been lifted for long distance vehicles.
The government’s spokesperson Yubaraj Khatiwada, also the minister for finance, on Thursday announced the Cabinet’s decision to resume public vehicles.
In Kathmandu Valley, public vehicles can operate freely in all three districts, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. However, public transport operators outside the Valley must limit their service within their respective district, Khatiwada said.
 
Total coronavirus cases in Nepal reach 16,531 with 108 new cases reported today
The Himalayan Times | 9th July
The Ministry of Health and Population has recorded 108 new cases of the coronavirus infection, which has taken the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 16,531.
At present, there are 196 active cases of infection in Province 1; 2,024 active cases in Province 2; 429 cases in Bagmati Province; 862 cases in Gandaki Province; 1,727 cases in Province 5; 405 cases in Karnali Province; and 2,962 cases in Sudurpaschim Province.
 
 

PAKISTAN

 
PM appeals nation to follow SOPs on Eid
The Nation | 10th July
Prime Minister Imran Khan has appealed to the nation to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with simplicity, strictly observing standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.
“I appeal to my people not to do again what they did on previous Eid (Eidul Fitr). Any public gathering causes the spread of virus and puts pressure on hospitals, doctors and nurses besides causing deaths,” the prime minister remarked talking to media after inaugurating the first-ever Isolation Hospital and Infections Treatment Centre here yesterday.
 
Indonesia wants more trade with Pakistan
The Express Tribune | 9th July
While the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to play havoc with human lives and global economies, efforts to control the damage or minimise the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic are also in full swing. To fight the financial downturn, friendly nations through consultations are identifying ways for cooperation for the enhanced sustainable economic activities between them.
 
US revokes permission for PIA to operate special direct flights
Dawn | 10th July
The United States transport authority has revoked the permission granted to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to operate a number of special direct flights to the US, a spokesperson for the airline said, as the fallout from the revelation of Pakistani pilots' alleged dubious licences continues.
The authorisation was revoked "due to recent events identified by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority that are of serious concern to aviation safety, specifically matters pertaining to the proper certification of certain Pakistani pilots", according to an email sent to PIA officials by a US-based law firm, seen by Dawn.com.
 
 

SRI LANKA

 
UNDP and the EU support the COVID-19 Response of Local Government Authorities in Sri Lanka
Colombo Page | 8th July
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided COVID-19 protective and preventive equipment to 134 Local Government authorities across the Eastern, Northern, North-Central and Uva Provinces.
The support to the Local Government Authorities comes under the Capacity Development of Local Government Project (CDLG) which is a four-year project (2020-2023) funded by the European Union (EU). The project aims to strengthen the capacities of the selected local Government authorities to be inclusive, responsive and accountable, so they are able to deliver better services to communities.
 
Export revenue exceeds imports for the first time in SL
Daily Mirror | 10th July
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has briefed the cabinet on Wednesday on the success of the economic fundamentals adopted to face the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and said Sri Lanka’s exports revenue had overtaken the imports revenue for the first time since the open economy was introduced in 1977, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardana said yesterday.
In June, Sri Lanka’s exports revenue has topped US$ 1,020 million while US$ 961 million has been spent on imports, saving US$ 59 million after four decades, Minister Gunawardana told the media at the weekly cabinet news briefing.
 
Army Commander assures all measures taken to avert COVID-19 transmission to society from prison cluster
Colombo Page | 9th July
Head, National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva assured that all necessary measures have been taken to prevent the COVID-19 virus transmission to society from the prison cluster.
Making a special statement, the Army Commander said after detection of the COVID-19 positive detainee from the Welikada Prisons, prison detainees and prison staff were exposed to PCR tests, but all of them were confirmed negative to the virus.

 

 

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