Taliban Prisoners Convicted of War Crimes Shouldn’t be Released
Daily Outlook Afghanistan | 21st July
 
Those 592 Taliban prisoners who are behind war crimes shouldn’t be released before the start of intra-Afghan peace talks, and a thorough investigation must be conducted into, read a statement by the AIHRC.
The Afghan government earlier urged the Taliban to reconsider demanding the release of nearly 600 insurgents convicted of “serious crimes”.
“There are 592 convicted Taliban on the Doha Taliban’s list of 5K that have serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, abducting citizens, sexual assault, stoning of women, assassinations, and other haq-ul-abd (crimes against individuals) cases,” according to Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

Dhaka, Delhi maintain multidimensional cooperation, says information minister
Prothom Alo | 23rd July
 
Information minister Hasan Mahmud said there is multidimensional cooperation between Bangladesh and India, reports news agency UNB.
“The government of India has continued to contribute to the economic development of Bangladesh since its independence,” he said.
Mahmud said whenever it comes to Bangladesh-India relations, India needs to be thanked for its historic role in the great War of Independence, for the support of the Indian government, for the unwavering support and assistance of the Indian people.

India, Maldives sign contract to set up fish processing plants
Maldives Times | 23rd July
 
India and the Maldives signed a contract to set up fish processing plants at two of the islands in the Maldives.
The island nation’s Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor and other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and High Commissioner of India Sunjay Sudhir participated in the contract-signing ceremony virtually.
“The contract-signing ceremony for setting up of neighbourhood fish processing plants in Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo was organised by the Addu City Council,” the Indian embassy said in a statement.

 

AFGHANISTAN

 
NATO’s SCR reaffirms support to Afghanistan and Afghan forces post peace agreement
The Khaama Press | 22nd July
The Senior Civilian Representative of NATO Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo reaffirmed the alliance’s support to Afghanistan and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces following the conclusion of a peace agreement.
Speaking to Khaama Press, Ambassador Pontecorvo said “Certainly yes, that is certainly our intention. After the peace deal we’ll have to negotiate whatever we do with the new Afghan government which comes out of the peace deal so these are not unilateral decisions on the side of NATO, it will be the Afghan government which will ask us for what they need and we will apply to measure of our capacities and we are committed.”
 
Freed Taliban prisoners return to battlefield
Afghanistan Times | 21st July
A Taliban fighter recently freed from the Afghan government custody as part of peace efforts – was rearrested in the battlefield marching against the Afghan security forces in Kofab district of northern Badakshan province.
Provincial Police Spokesman, Sanaullah Rohani had identified the militant as Shirullah also known as Captain. He was arrested after he tried to attack the security forces in the district, the spokesman said.
 
 

BANGLADESH

 
Govt will ensure housing for all
Bangladesh Post | 23rd July
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her steadfast commitment to ensure housing for all, including the flood and river erosion-hit people, as she inaugurated the world’s biggest rehabilitation project for the climate refugees in Cox’s Bazar, reports BSS.
“We’re celebrating the Mujib Barsho, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Our aim in his birth centenary is that a single person will not remain homeless. We’ll construct a house, even at least a ‘chala’ (shed), for every person. In any way, we’ll do it and it’s our goal,” she told a function.
 
Relations with Bangladesh 'time-tested and historic', says India
Dhaka Tribune | 24th July
India appreciates Bangladesh’s “consistent stand” on Jammu-Kashmir issue, says External Affairs Ministry spokesperson.
Describing its relations with Bangladesh as “time-tested and historic”, India said on Thursday that it appreciated Dhaka’s view of Jammu-Kashmir issue being its internal issue, reports Indian media.
"Our relations with Bangladesh are time tested and historic. We appreciate their consistent stand that Jammu and Kashmir and all its developments are India's internal matters. It's a stand they've always taken," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava was quoted by ANI.
 
Covid-19 impact: Income of 48% waste workers drop
Dhaka Tribune | 23rd July
37% waste workers lack knowledge about where or how to access medical treatment if they get symptoms or test positive for Covid-19, study finds.
Around 48% of general waste workers are experiencing income reduction while 71 % are experiencing an expenditure upsurge due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in the country, a study says.
Bangladesh Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) Network revealed the number in a webinar on Thursday while sharing the findings of four studies done by Practical Action, SNV Netherlands Development Organization, WaterAid Bangladesh and Water, and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), according to a media statement.
 
 

BHUTAN

  
Joint audit report for PHPA-I and MHPA finds irregularities worth over Nu 379M 
Kuensel | 23rd July
The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) and Comptroller and Auditor General of India in a joint audit last year made eight observations for the Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project (MHEP) in Trongsa amounting to Nu 1,392.413 million (M).
The observations were not resolved as of January this year. As per RAA’s annual report 2019, Nu 1,160.459M did not qualify for inclusion in the report.
The significant unresolved irregularities for MHPA amounted to over Nu 231M. More than Nu 208M fell under non-compliance to laws and rules as per the audit report.
 
 

MALDIVES

 
President ratifies 17th amendment to Export Import Act
The Edition | 23rd July
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, ratified the 17th amendment to the Import Export Act of Maldives.
The amendment exempts export duty from all items that are not explicitely listened under the 3rd section of the Act, while reducing 50 percent of export duty from the Freight on Board (FOB) price charged from ambergris.
The state will also impose a 5 percent royalty from the FOB price of goods re-exported for business.
 
UNICEF donates supplies to bolster Maldives' COVID-19 response
The Edition | 23rd July
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), on Wednesday, donated water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to support the Maldivian government's ongoing nation-wide effort to contain COVID-19.
UNICEF's Resident Representative Dr Munir Safieldin formally handed over the supplies, worth MVR 7.1 million, to Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen during a ceremony held at the ministry.
 
 

MYANMAR

 
Myanmar’s NLD Unveils Election Candidate Lineup With More Women, Muslims
The Irrawaddy | 23rd July
The ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) unveiled its candidate list for the upcoming election. The lineup consists largely of the party’s sitting lawmakers and current chief ministers, but also includes more women than in 2015 and, for the first time, Muslim candidates.
Myanmar will hold a general election on Nov. 8.
With less than three months to go before the election, the party announced its list of candidates on Thursday afternoon, right after finalizing its selections.
 
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to Run for Seat in General Election, Myanmar’s Ruling Party Says
The Irrawaddy | 23rd July
Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will run in the Nov. 8 general election in Yangon’s Kawhmu Township, the ruling National League for Democracy said Thursday, confirming the party chairwoman’s candidacy.
“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will contest a Lower House seat in Kawhmu Township,” party vice chairman and Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung announced on the final day of the party’s candidate selection process. 
 
 

NEPAL

 
Another Covid-19 related death and 147 new cases as Nepal’s tally reaches 18,241
The Kathmadu Post | 23rd July
Nepal reported one more Covid-19 related death and 147 new cases on Thursday as the national total reached 18,241.
According to the Health Ministry, a 70-year-old man from Birgunj Metropolitan City Ward 6 in Parsa district, who had contracted the coronavirus, died.
“He was admitted to the temporary Covid facility at Narayani Hospital in Birgunj for breathing-related difficulties and was undergoing treatment,” said ministry spokesperson Dr Jageshwor Gautam at a press briefing.

Govt amends Disaster Victims Rescue and Relief Standards
The Himalayan Time | 23rd July
The government has amended the Disaster Victims Rescue and Relief Standards, 2007, for providing assistance and relief to disaster victims.
The amendment was approved by the Council of Ministers yesterday.
As per the amendment, the concerned chief district officer shall put minimum 25 skilled human resources on standby to be mobilised for search and rescue of victims at anytime. Search and rescue materials will be pre-positioned under the District Disaster Management Committee, in addition to management of minimum 25 human resources to be mobilised for relief operation.
 
 

PAKISTAN

 
Pakistan elected president of UN Economic and Social Council for the sixth time
Dawn | 24th July
Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Munir Akram was unanimously elected as the president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the year 2020-21.
This is the sixth time that Pakistan has been elected as the ECOSOC president and the second time that Ambassador Akram has been elected to this post, having served as its president in 2005. The only other envoy to have had this distinction was Juan Somavía of Chile, according to a statement issued by the Pakistani mission to the UN in New York.
 
President lauds Chinese collaboration for CPEC projects
The Nation | 24th July
A webinar was held, under the auspices of Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR), Ikram Sehgal.
Chairman KCFR, hosted the session. The Chair introduced the guests, President Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chairman CPEC Authority. The Chairman, than handed over webinar to moderator Alveena Agha.
 
Foreign exchange: SBP reserves rise $67m to $12.12b
The Express Tribune | 23rd July
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 0.55% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
On July 17, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $12,121.6 million, up $67 million compared with $12,054.9 million in the previous week.
According to the central bank, the reserves increased due to official inflows.
Overall, liquid foreign currency reserves held by the country, including net reserves held by banks other than the SBP, stood at $19,047.3 million. Net reserves held by banks amounted to $6,925.7 million.
 
 

SRI LANKA

 
Japan grants Sri Lanka election monitor Rs. 8.5 million to ensure free and fair general election amidst COVID-19
Colombo Page | 23rd July
The Government of Japan has provided a grant worth US$ 47,019 (approximately Rs.8.5 million) for “The Project for Sustaining Democratization through the Implementation of Free and Fair Election in Sri Lanka” under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
The Grant Contract in this regard was signed on 22 July 2020 at the Ambassador’s Residence between Kitamura Toshihiro, Charge d’Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka and Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), the Japanese Embassy said in a media release.
 
New SLPP Govt. will focus on burning issues: Minister
Daily Mirror | 23rd July
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has told the final Cabinet meeting of the SLPP Government held on Wednesday that he would give the priority in the new SLPP government to resolve burning issues of the most vulnerable sections of the country as he had been able to have first-hand information on their grievances during the election campaign.
Power, Energy and Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told the media that the President spoke at length about his experience gained when he met people from various walks of life during the election propaganda campaign.
 
Indian HC emphasizes need to expand bilateral cooperation between India and Sri Lanka amid COVID-19 pandemic
Colombo Page | 22nd July
India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay emphasized the need to further expand the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation between the two countries to effectively and expeditiously address the unprecedented challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The High Commissioner Baglay speaking at a virtual event about the dynamic and comprehensive ties between India and Sri Lanka, observed that today’s situation calls for policies oriented to the future that balance the need for economic security with the efficient utilization of complementary economic strengths of our two countries.

 

 

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