Half million Afghans return to country in six months: Taliban
The Khaama Press | 1st March
Ministry of Refugees and Repatriates of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said that 500,000 Afghans in exile have returned to Afghanistan in the past six months.
Deputy of the Ministry Muhammad Arsala Kharoti in a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, said that most of the repatriates are from neighboring Pakistan and Iran.

India provides grant of Nu 759mn towards key development projects in Bhutan
Business Bhutan | 1st March
The Government of India has released an amount of Nu 759mn to the Royal Government of Bhutan for the smooth implementation of various development projects in Bhutan.
These projects are reportedly spread over diverse sectors inter alia Education, Infrastructure Development, Agriculture and Livestock Enterprise Development.

‘India to help develop startup ecosystem in Bangladesh’
Bangladesh Post | 2nd March
India is keen to work with Bangladesh to take bilateral ties in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector to the next level. 
Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami stated this while holding a meeting with President of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) Russell T Ahmed at Baridhara in the capital. 

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan to vote against Russia in UN
The Khaama Press | 2nd March
Diplomats have said that Afghanistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Naseer Ahmad Faiq will vote to support the resolution that denounces the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Myanmar will also vote against Russia to support the resolution.
Both Afghanistan and Myanmar’s de facto authorities do not have their own representatives in the 193-member world body of the United Nations. The current representatives are those appointed by former governments in the countries that collapsed last year.

World Bank Approved Plan to Use Over $1 Billion of Afghan Assets
Afghanistan Times | 2nd March
The World Bank on Tuesday approved a plan allowing to use of more than one billion of the frozen Afghan assets to finance immediate education, agriculture, health, and family sectors as Afghanistan is scrambling with a fractured economic state.
The plan, which will bypass sanctioned Islamic Emirate authorities by disbursing the money through UN agencies and international aid groups, will provide a major boost to efforts to ease the country’s worsening humanitarian and economic crises.

West: No US Decision Yet on Recognition
TOLO | 1st March
US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, in a special interview with TOLOnews, said that no decision has been made regarding the recognition of the Islamic Emirate by the United States.
He said the US wants to see a representative government formed in Afghanistan and the commitments made to the international community upheld.
“We haven’t made a decision on recognition. I think a lot of countries haven’t. We want to see the establishment of a responsible record of conduct when it comes to treatment of Afghans. 
 

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh adopts neutral stance on Ukraine crisis at UN
Prothom Alo | 2nd March
Bangladesh has taken a neutral stance during the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly deploring Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The South Asian nation emphasised a peaceful solution to the prevailing crisis through talks led by the UN secretary general. Bangladesh also reiterated its support to the principle of the sovereignty and territorial integrity as stated in the UN charter.

British High Commissioner unveils Climate Resilient Infrastructures in Ctg
The Daily Star | 1st March
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson recently inaugurated climate-resilient community infrastructures in Cox's Bazar and Chattogram.
The infrastructures were unveiled during his two-day visit to the two cities from 27-28 February, as part of the Livelihoods Improvement of the Urban Poor (LIUPC) Project, financed by the UK Government with the government of Bangladesh, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), according a press release issued by the British High Commission.

Enhancing B2B engagements to intensify Bangladesh, France trade ties stressed
Bangladesh Post | 2nd March
Bangladesh Ambassador to France Khondker M Talha has laid emphasis on enhancing Business-to-Business (B2B) engagements among the small and medium entrepreneurs of both countries to intensify Bangladesh and France trade ties. 
The Bangladesh envoy laid the emphasis while attending several meetings on Tuesday with the Mayor of Toulouse in France Jean-Luc Moudenc and business leaders at Toulouse in France, said a press release.   
 

BHUTAN

Govt to establish regional helicopter service as per the royal command
Kuensel | 3rd March
Upon the command of His Majesty the King, the government will set up Royal Bhutan Helicopter Service Limited (RBHSL)’s regional office in Mongar and Gelephu, especially for medical evacuation.
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, while addressing the nation live from Gelephu yesterday morning, said the regional office will have a full-fledged ground staff like in Paro to provide services.

Bhutan will be rolling out nationwide vaccination drive for children
Daily Bhutan | 2nd March
The Venerable Lam Neten and the monks from Paro Rabdey administered the Thruesel Ceremony at Paro International Airport.
With the arrival of all the required vaccines to vaccinate children 5-11 years with both doses and boosters for 12-17 years, MOH will begin nationwide vaccination immediately. Micro plans for each district has been completed. Deployment of vaccines to the districts will start today from Thimphu after the lot clearance by DRA.
 

MALDIVES

Econ Ministry and Islamic Ministry to launch a program to help the poor
The Edition | 1st March
Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Ministry of Economic Development signed an agreement to launch a program called "Zakat Nafa" on Monday to assist the poor through the Zakat Fund.
The agreement was signed between Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail and Islamic Minister Dr. Ahmed Zakir.
Under the program, financial assistance will be provided to the poor under a specific policy. According to the Economic Ministry, the program is aimed at building a self-sufficient society, enabling the most deserving people to benefit from the Zakat Fund and provide them with income generating opportunities.

Maldives votes to demand immediate halt of Russia’s attack on Ukraine at UNGA
Sun | 3rd March
Maldives has voted to demand an immediate halt of Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the withdrawal of all Russian troops at an emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly held.
At the emergency session held on Wednesday night, member countries of the General Assembly passed a resolution titled ‘Aggression against Ukraine’, which demands the immediate halt of Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the withdrawal of all Russian troops.

Over 371,000 persons fully vaccinated against Covid-19
Raajje | 2nd March
More than 371,000 persons have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 across Maldives.
According to the latest figures publicized by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), 2,150 more persons were inoculated against Covid-19 on Monday including 418 Greater Malé Residents and 1,732 atoll residents.
17 first doses were administered to three Greater Malé residents and 14 atoll residents on Monday, with 40 second doses having been received by 30 Greater Malé residents and 10 atoll residents.
 

MYANMAR

Myanmar Junta Has Torched Over 6,000 Civilian Homes Since Coup
The Irrawaddy | 3rd March
Junta forces have torched at least 6,158 civilian homes in the 13 months since the Myanmar military’s coup, mostly in areas where anti-regime resistance is the strongest. Sagaing Region suffered nearly 60 per cent of the damage, according to independent research group Data for Myanmar. 
The houses were burned down in 165 places nationwide from February 1, 2021 to March 1 this year, said Data for Myanmar in its latest report.

Myanmar junta reiterates support for Putin’s war on Ukraine
Myanmar Now | 1st March
Myanmar’s military junta expressed support for Russian President Vladimir Putin again on Sunday, blaming his invasion of Ukraine on that country’s leader and its people.
In a commentary published in its Burmese-language mouthpiece Myanma Alin, the regime also accused the US and its NATO allies of plotting to pit Russia and Ukraine against each other.
 

NEPAL

'All citizens should be vaccinated against COVID -19 by local level elections'
The Himalayan Times | 2nd March
National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina has said all the citizens should be administered the full dose of vaccine against COVID-19 by the upcoming election.
He stressed that political parties should also bring forward the vaccination topic with utmost priority.

Nepal votes in favour of UN resolution to deplore Russian invasion of Ukraine
The Kathmandu Post | 3rd March
Nepal has voted in favour of a UN resolution on the Ukraine crisis at a rare United Nations General Assembly.
Nepal was among the 141 members who voted against Russian invasion of Ukraine. Five voted against. There were 35 abstentions, including India and China, according to the UN.

Nepal signs G2G agreement with India on chemical fertiliser import after efforts of 1.5 years
Onlinekhabar | 1st March
After efforts of over one and a half years, Nepal has signed a government-to-government agreement with India for the import of chemical fertiliser import.
For the past few years, the chemical fertiliser shortage has been one of the biggest problems of the Nepali agriculture sector. The government has launched several efforts to minimise the problem, but most of them have failed.
 

PAKISTAN

Pakistan urges restraint in Russia-Ukraine conflict
The Express Tribune | 4th March
Pakistan has called for restraint and avoidance of disproportionate actions in the conflict stemming from Russia’s ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine and expressed concern over the failure to resolve the week-long crisis through diplomatic means.
“We note, with deep concern, the failure of diplomacy and human rights and humanitarian implications arising from the conflict,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations office in Geneva, Ambassador Khalil Hashmi said before the UN Human Rights Council.

Pakistan, Uzbekistan will lobby to unfreeze Afghan assets: PM Imran Khan
The News | 4th March
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan and Uzbekistan would lobby to unfreeze Afghan assets that were frozen by the international community in the aftermath of the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan.
Premier said this while addressing a joint press stakeout at the Prime Minister House alongside Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who arrived in the federal capital earlier in the day on a two-day state visit.

Chinese industries may relocate to Pakistan, parliamentary panel told
Dawn | 4th March
The Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was informed on Thursday that Chinese companies have agreed to relocate industries to Pakistan and invest in the country in different sectors.
The committee, which met with MNA Sher Ali Arbab in the chair, was briefed by the Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China with reference to CPEC.
 

SRI LANKA

Indian Oil Corp to supply fuels to Sri Lanka in 4-5 month deal
Daily Mirror | 3rd March
Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country's top refiner and fuel retailer, will supply 12-13 fuel cargoes to Sri Lanka to help the island nation facing an energy crisis, the Indian company said in a statement to Reuters.
IOC said it will supply gasoil, gasoline and jet fuel to Sri Lanka over the next 4-5 months.
"The supplies shall be made under a $500 million line of credit extended by the government of India to Sri Lanka for purchase of fuels," it said.

IMF tells SL how to save economy
The Island | 4th March
The Executive Board of the IMF has asked Sri Lanka to reform state-owned enterprises and adopt cost-recovery energy pricing, the Fund said yesterday in a press release.
They also called for prudent management of the Colombo Port City project, and continued efforts to strengthen governance and fight corruption.

SL among 35 abstentions at UNGA vote against Russia
Ceylon Today | 3rd March
Sri Lanka is among 35 countries, who abstained from voting on a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly that strongly criticizes Russia’s action for invading Ukraine.
The UNGA overwhelmingly adopted the  resolution demanding that Russia immediately end its military operations in Ukraine.

 

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