Pakistan allowed Taliban and Haqqani Network to use its territory to target Afghanistan: US
The Khaama Press | 25th June
 
Pakistan allowed the Taliban group and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network to use its terroritory in targeting Afghanistan during the year 2019.
“Pakistan remained a safe harbor for other regionally focused terrorist groups,” the State Department said in its latested titled Country Reports on Terrorism 2019 which it published.

 

Myanmar govt, armed groups agree to hold 4th Panglong in August
Myanmar Times | 25th June
 
Union Attorney-General U Tun Tun Oo, vice chair of the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre, said the agreement was reached in a meeting in Yangon.
The conference will discuss implementation of the NCA, a detailed plan for peace talks after the elections, and the basic principles of a federal government, he added.

 

Pakistanis’ money in Swiss banks dips by 50%
The Express Tribune | 26th June
 
Switzerland is apparently no longer a favourite offshore tax haven for Pakistanis to stash their wealth as the money kept by the country’s nationals in Swiss banks has fallen by 50% to the lowest level of $377 million in 2019, a new report disclosed.
Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, has published its annual report, “Banks in Switzerland 2019”, and the corresponding data for its annual banking statistics.

 

AFGHANISTAN

 
China and Afghanistan Join Hands against COVID-19 in Strengthened Belt and Road International Cooperation
Afghanistan Times | 25th June
While COVID-19 continues spreading around the world, world economies all face huge challenges. A few days ago, China successfully held the High-Level Video Conference on Belt and Road International Cooperation. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, foreign minister and ministerial officials from 25 countries, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner joined the discussion on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with solidarity, promoting economic and social recovery and jointly building a community of shared future for mankind.
 
Ghani calls on Taliban to accept the demands of government and the Afghan people
The Khaama Press | 23rd June
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani called on Taliban group to accept the demands of the government and the Afghan people and renounce violence.
According to a statement released by ARG Presidential Palace, President Ghani made the call on Taliban militants following the attack on prosecutors of the Attorney General’s Office.
He also added that the attack on civilians and government workers is an act against the humanity and principles of Islam, insisting that the continued violence by enemies, is an attempt to harm the peace process.
 
Finance Ministry reports lost revenue of $285m
Afghanistan Times | 24th June
Financial implications of the COVID-19 outbreak have been stark and overwhelming for Afghanistan as the Ministry of Finance estimates the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in lost revenue of around $285 million in Q2 of 2020.
Acting Minister of Finance, AbdulHadi Arghandiwal, has told VOA that custom revenues still continue to be embezzled. He pledged an unswerving graft-busting campaign to eradicate corruption in customs.

 

BANGLADESH

 
Over 6.98 cr people get relief assistance
Bangladesh Post | 25th June
As part of government continuous effort of distributing relief during the current corona virus crisis, around 6,98,97,650 individuals under more than 1.59 crore families have received the government relief assistance throughout the country, reports BSS.
“Around 6,98,97,650 individuals of 1,59,30,767 families have been benefited with the government relief assistance during this ongoing COVID-19 crisis”, said an official release.
The government so far has distributed 1,84,122 tonnes out of 2,11,017 tonnes of rice among the people, according to the data provided by 64 district administrations till June 24.
 
Bangladesh forex reserves hit new record of $35b amid virus pandemic
Prothom Alo | 24th June
The foreign exchange reserves of the country has crossed $35 billion mark for the first time.
According to sources at Bangladesh Bank, the forex reserves with the central bank stood at 35.09 billion which is equivalent to Tk 2982.65 billion, reports UNB.
The central bank officials said the recent enhancement in the inflow of remittance from the expatriate Bangladeshis in recent days has resulted in the new record.
 
UN allocates $5 million to support response to Cyclone Amphan
Dhaka Tribune | 25th June
The United Nation’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $5 million to complement the Bangladesh government’s recovery efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan.
Cyclone Amphan caused large scale destruction in the south-western parts of Bangladesh in May.
The CERF allocation will provide high-impact life-saving assistance to a prioritized caseload of 250,000 persons in the districts of Khulna and Satkhira in Khulna Division and, in Barguna and Patuakhali districts in Barisal Division.

 

BHUTAN

 
Mines and Mineral Act to decide nationalisation of resources
Kuensel | 25th June
The government cannot decide on the nationalisation of mineral resources in the country without the Mines and Mineral Bill being passed as an Act, according to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.
Following the recent decision to hand over the Chunaikhola dolomite mine in Samtse to Sate Mining Corporation Ltd. (SMCL) after cancelling a scheduled auction, the National Council (NC) recommended nationalising mineral resources and allocate all mines to SMCL for operations. The Assembly on June 16 rejected the recommendation with only two of the 36 members present supporting the NC’s recommendation without a debate.

 

MALDIVES

 
 Maldives to ratify two key human rights treaties
Maldives Times | 25th June
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, decided to ratify two key international treaties relevant to human rights.
According to the President’s Office, the treaties are the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-CESCR) and the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED).
 
Maldives ready to reignite tourism, Minister assures
The Edition | 25th June
Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, confirmed that safety measures for restarting tourism, currently in-stasis due to the global pandemic, would carry on with the same vigour seen across Maldives’ COVID-19 response.
Speaking at the regularly-held press briefing hosted by National Emergency Operations Centre, Minister Waheed said that if Maldives doubles its collective effort to ensure health safety, the probability that borders would have to be closed again was “much lower”.
The Solih-administration, he assured, would remain vigilant in detecting and containing the virus.
 
Maldives always at forefront in climate change advocacy: Foreign Minister
Maldives Times | 24th June
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid declared that the Maldives will always be at the forefront in advocating against the dangers of climate change.
He made the statement while participating in the Berlin Climate and Security Conference (BCSC) 2020 via video conference.
In his remarks, Minister Shahid reiterated that the Maldives will continue to foster global consensus on actions to stop and reverse the effects of climate change. Highlighting its dangers, he stressed the need to forge partnerships to find solutions.
 
 

MYANMAR

 
World Bank: Myanmar Economy to See Growth Drop by 6.3% This Fiscal Year Due to COVID-19
The Irrawaddy | 25th June
The latest report from the World Bank says Myanmar’s economic growth could drop from 6.8 percent to 0.5 percent this fiscal year, as the country has been severely hit by impacts from COVID-19.
The 2019-2020 fiscal year began on Oct.1, 2019 and ends on Sept. 30.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic is dealing a severe blow to Myanmar’s economy,” the report said.
“The slowdown in economic growth threatens to partially reverse Myanmar’s recent progress in poverty reduction while reducing the incomes of households that are already poor,” the bank said.
 
Construction on China's BRI Deep Sea Port to Start Soon in Myanmar's Rakhine State: Govt
The Irrawaddy | 24th June
The construction of the China-backed Kyaukphyu deep-sea port will begin soon, as preparations on both the Myanmar and China sides are on track, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
The project is a crucial part of the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in western Myanmar. The SEZ is expected to boost development in China’s landlocked Yunnan Province and provide China with direct access to the Indian Ocean, allowing its oil imports to bypass the Strait of Malacca.
 
 

NEPAL

 
Govt expands scope of essential goods and services
The Himalayan Times | 25th June
The government has expanded the areas of ban on strike or bandh in production, supply, sale and distribution of essential goods and services amid the adverse situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a notice published by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Nepal Gazette on Monday, the ban was imposed in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 (1) of the Essential Services Operation Act, 1957, to make necessary arrangements for smooth supply of essential goods and services in a systematic manner.
 
‘Policy must address energy sector’
The Himalayan Times | 26th June
Stakeholders have recommended introducing economic policy that could revive the infrastructure sector as it has been adversely affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Taking part in a virtual dialogue organised by Society of Economic Journalists Nepal here today, stakeholders called for reforms in policy, easy interest loan and renewal of loans so that entrepreneurs could pay the interest and instalment of the loan.

 

PAKISTAN

 
FO 'disappointed' with US report on terrorism
Dawn | 25th June
The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday said it was "disappointed" with Pakistan-related observations in the US State Department's Annual Country Report on Terrorism for 2019, calling them "self-contradictory and selective" in characterising efforts to counter terrorism and terrorist financing.
In a statement, FO spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that while the report recognises that Al Qaeda has been seriously degraded in the region, it neglects to mention Pakistan's crucial role in decimating the group.
 
 
Pakistan earns US $688m by exporting transport services
The Nation | 24th June
Pakistan earned US $ 688 million by providing different transport services in various countries during the ten months of ongoing fiscal year (2019-20) as compared to the corresponding period last year.
This shows decrease of 5.66 percent as compared to US $ 729.280 million earned through provision of services during the corresponding period of fiscal year (2018-19), Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported. 
 
 

SRI LANKA

 
 President instructs to make the final report of the MCC agreement review public
Colombo Page | 26th June
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has asked the Secretary to the President, Dr. PB Jayasundera to make public the final report on the review of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement by the expert committee.
The final report of the Expert Committee appointed to review the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact (MCC) was handed over to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (25). Later the report will be placed before the public.
 
Govt. hopes to bring back country to normalcy next month
Daily Mirror | 25th June
The government hopes to bring the country back to pre- COVID 19 situation with the presentation of the first budget of the SLPP government in the new Parliament, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardana said today.
The government has provided a massive relief package in the aftermath of the COVID-19 endemic to the corporate and public sector as well as to the most vulnerable groups in the country who have lost their daily income.
 
World Bank approves additional financing of $87 mn for Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project
Colombo Page | 23rd June
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors Monday approved additional financing for Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.
The project will receive an IDA Credit of US$ 87.24 million and an additional Pandemic Emergency Financing (PEF) Facility of US$ 1.72 million. The credit facility has a maturity of 30 years and a grace period of five years.
The project will help boost Sri Lanka’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in the country.

 

 

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