Afghanistan Times | 14th October
The Taliban say they will join China’s upcoming Belt and Road Forum as relationship between the two seem to be growing significantly despite the Taliban’s lack of formal recognition by any government.
While Taliban representatives have attended regional meetings, primarily focused on Afghanistan, their participation in the Belt and Road Forum represents one of the highest-profile multilateral summits they have been invited to join.
Daily Mirror | 14th October
An international, high-speed passenger ferry service between Nagapattinam on the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu and Kankesanthurai in the northern province of Sri Lanka, has resumed as of Saturday, October 14, 2023, after a gap of nearly four decades. Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal and Tamil Nadu Minister for Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports, E.V. Velu, flagged off the craft from the Nagapattinam port on Saturday.
The Express Tribune | 17th October
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has stopped the fuel supply to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) at Multan, Sukkur, and Gilgit airports due to unpaid dues, exacerbating the precarious situation of the national flag
carrier. This suspension of fuel supply on Monday led to the cancellation of 14 flights between Multan, Karachi, Sukkur, Islamabad, and Gilgit. According to sources, PIA owes PSO an amount of Rs650 million according to the agreed schedule.
The Nation | 17th October
As Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul- Haq Kakar has arrived in Beijing, he expressed Pakistan’s commitment to jointly building the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying the project has transformed the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan.
“The CPEC has transformed the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan, upgrading modern infrastructure, enhancing regional connectivity, ensuring energy security, and creating jobs,” the prime minister, who arrived in Beijing yesterday, said this in his article published in Global Times China.
Dawn | 17th October
Pakistan is the least ready country in terms of the provision of digital education, according to an assessment carried out under the ADB Digital Education Readiness Framework, which evaluated delivery of
education via digital technology among 10 countries of the region.
It said while federal and provincial governments play a critical role in enabling teachers and students to leverage the strengths of digital education through the provision of supporting infrastructure and policies, they may not be able to achieve digital readiness alone, owing to the potential need for subject matter expertise, technical know-how, and added resources, which can be facilitated through the private sector and multilateral partnerships.
The News | 13th October
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rebutted a news report that was “replete with inaccuracies and false information, incorrectly” claiming that around 13 million people would not be able to cast their votes in the next general polls. ECP spokesperson, in a statement, said that the news report featured in Friday’s edition of a renowned daily newspaper is “saturated with inaccuracies and misinformation”.
The spokesperson clarified that voters’ registration was based on their permanent or current address as per their computerised National Identity Card (CNIC), and this process has no connection to population statistics.
Colombo Page | 17th October
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested Chinese business leaders to consider Sri Lanka as their best destination for investment, trade and tourism while addressing the Investment Trade and Tourism (ITT) Forum of Sri Lanka held in Beijing on Monday.
At the forum organized by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing, President Wickremesinghe met with the leaders of state owned enterprises and private entrepreneurs in China. The Sri Lankan Embassy in China said the forum was attended by over 150 representatives of more than 100 companies.
The Island | 16th October
Sri Lanka wants China to share with other creditors the terms of its recent $4.2 billion bilateral debt deal, a step needed to help the country speed up the process of restoring its finances over a year after it
Sharing the information would ensure transparency and assure other bilateral creditors that they’re getting a comparable deal, news agencies have quoted Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, as sayng at a panel discussion on Friday.
The Khaama Press | 16th October
Continuing the deportation of Afghan migrants from Pakistan, officials in Balochistan province have stated that 5,000 Afghan migrants returned to Afghanistan in the last 15 days.
Afghan refugees in Pakistan are alleging that the Pakistani army is destroying their homes to force them to leave the country. These long-term residents are now turning to refugee advocates for help. Haji Nazar, a Pakistani-based Afghan refugee, stated, “In the last two days, Afghan family camps have been brutally demolished, seemingly without consideration for the women and children living in these homes.”
TOLO News | 17th October
The United Nations said that the recent earthquakes have affected more than 43 thousand people in the eastern Herat province. Speaking at a news conference, the UN Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan said they will need over $93 million in the upcoming six months for the betterment of lives of the earthquake’s victims.
Prothom Alo | 16th October
The United States wants free and fair elections conducted in a peaceful manner in Bangladesh as the western country has discussed with Bangladesh about the government’s efforts to ensure the people of Bangladesh cast their votes.
The US deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) Afreen Akhter said this after meeting foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen today, Monday.
Bangladesh Post | 16th October
The growth in the aviation industry of Bangladesh has doubled in the past 10 years and is set to be tripled in the next 15 years, said State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali.
Reiterating the government’s aspiration to transform Bangladesh into a global aviation hub, the state minister said: “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government is working sincerely to make this possibility a reality.”
Dhaka Tribune | 17th October
The UK has extended funding to support Rohingya refugees living in camps in Bangladesh, providing an additional £4.5 million for vital humanitarian services.
UK Minister for the Indo-Pacific Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced the funding at a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) regional conference on the Rohingya crisis.
Minister Trevelyan is attending the conference alongside Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, the British High Commission said.
Kuensel | 14th October
To improve the education system in the country, the government has unveiled plans to standardise schools in the 13th Five-Year-Plan, as a response to the major educational transformation.
The decision comes considering several factors, including the need to streamline resources, address teacher-to-student ratio, and improve infrastructure development, among others.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that despite having the best teacher-to-student ratio, the education quality has been compromised due to several factors, including the lack of infrastructure.
Daily Bhutan | 17th October
According to the National Statistics Bureau, fish prices have surged by more than 21 percent in recent years. To address this issue, the National Research Centre for Riverine and Lake Fisheries in Haa began rearing trout in 2015 with the aim of reducing fish imports and meeting local demand.
However, even after six years, the center is struggling to meet the demand. In 2011, the same research center in Haa started studying fish species suitable for cold climates and found that trout was a highly productive option.
Business Bhutan | 16th October
Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air Ltd.) marked its 10th year of operation with a grand celebration at Pemako, Thimphu, on October 10, 2023. The event saw the attendance of numerous agents from Bhutan, India, and other countries, alongside local dignitaries and well-wishers.
The airline commenced its journey with domestic operations utilizing an 8-seater Pilatus aircraft. Within a short span of time, it expanded its services to international destinations, introducing the state-of-the-art Airbus 320 family of aircraft.
The Edition | 18th October
President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has expressed his belief that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) undertaken by the Chinese government under President Xi Jinping can play a crucial role in the development of the Maldives.
In an interview given to China Xinhua News, Dr. Muizzu called the Sinamalé bridge connecting Hulhumalé and Malé constructed under BRI to be the most iconic, transformational development project to have been completed in Maldives to date.
The Sun | 18th October
Maldives has condemned the deadly Israeli air strike on a hospital in Gaza that has killed hundreds of civilians.
In a post on X on Wednesday, Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said he was “shocked and horrified” by the attack on the hospital. The Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in central Gaza, which sheltered the wounded and displaced from Israeli bombing, was hit by an Israeli air
strike on Tuesday night.
Raajje | 13th October
Discussions have been held on strengthening bilateral cooperation between Maldives and China.
The discussions were held between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid and Ambassador of China to the Maldives Wang Lixin during a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.
Taking to Twitter following the meeting, FM Shahid expressed pleasure in sitting down for talks with the Chinese Ambassador.
The Irrawaddy | 17th October
China’s Special Envoy for Asian Affairs, Deng Xijun, expressed unwavering support for Myanmar’s peace process and said Beijing would not accept any act that could break up the country, in talks with junta boss
Min Aung Hlaing on Sunday, according to junta media. Deng met with the coup leader on the same day that he attended a Naypyitaw ceremony to mark the 8th anniversary of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.
Min Aung Hlaing told Deng he attached great importance to stability and development on the border with China, and that he would not tolerate any border activity harmful to the interests of neighboring countries, junta media reported.
Myanmar Now | 17th October
It was just before midnight on October 9 when explosives rained down on Mung Lai Hkyet, a village in Myanmar’s northern Kachin State where hundreds of displaced civilians were sheltering. At least 28 civilians
were killed, including 10 women, 10 girls, seven men, and one 3-year-old boy. More than 60 were injured.
Nestled high in the mountains near the Myanmar-China border, Mung Lai Hkyet sits just three miles from Laiza, the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organisation/Army (KIO/A) who have battled Myanmar’s military fordecades.
The Kathmandu Post | 16th October
Nepal and India have agreed to reduce the height of the proposed Saptakoshi High Dam amid concerns in Nepal over the potential inundation of a large swathe of land upstream of the dam.
With the high dam project stuck for several years due to local protests, the two sides agreed to lower the dam height. The revision is expected to allay inundation fears among Nepalis who stand to be displaced or affected by the project.
The Himalayan Times | 17th October
The Government of Nepal has successfully rescued 18 more Nepalis from Israel.
They were evacuated on an Indian aircraft due to the ongoing militant attacks by the terrorist group Hamas in Israel, as confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Previously, 253 Nepali students were repatriated from Israel via Nepal Airlines. Minister for Foreign Affairs, NP Saud, stated that the Nepali nationals are returning today from Tel Aviv, Israel, on an Indian rescue flight.
Onlinekhabar | 17th October
Foreign exchange reserves in Nepal have reached around Rs 1.50 trillion (USD 12.01 billion). This is mostly thanks to the Rs 228.50 billion inflow in remittance.
This is a 22.1 per cent rise, according to Nepal Rastra Bank‘s macroeconomic and financial situation report.
Based on the imports of the month of fiscal year 2023/24, the foreign exchange reserves of the banking sector are sufficient to cover the prospective merchandise imports of 12.6 months and merchandise and services imports of 10.3 months.