The South Asia Channel

Asian Development Bank Grants $1.2B for Afghan Energy Projects; Congress Party Leaders to Appear in Court; PM Sharif to Attend TAPI Pipeline Groundbreaking

Afghanistan Asian Development Bank grants $1.2 billion for Afghan energy projects On Monday, the Asian Development Bank approved $1.2 billion in grants for ongoing energy projects in Afghanistan (Pajhwok). The funds are to be disbursed in tranches through 2025 with $275 million earmarked for release this year. The first tranche will include the funding of ...

Lights are seen from Naderkhan Hill on the out skirts of Kabul on October 21, 2012. Kabul now gets allegedly uninterrupted power supply as it imports the electricity from neighbouring Tajikistan. AFP PHOTO/ JAWAD JALALI        (Photo credit should read Jawad Jalali/AFP/Getty Images)
Lights are seen from Naderkhan Hill on the out skirts of Kabul on October 21, 2012. Kabul now gets allegedly uninterrupted power supply as it imports the electricity from neighbouring Tajikistan. AFP PHOTO/ JAWAD JALALI (Photo credit should read Jawad Jalali/AFP/Getty Images)

Afghanistan

Asian Development Bank grants $1.2 billion for Afghan energy projects

On Monday, the Asian Development Bank approved $1.2 billion in grants for ongoing energy projects in Afghanistan (Pajhwok). The funds are to be disbursed in tranches through 2025 with $275 million earmarked for release this year. The first tranche will include the funding of projects to improve energy connections between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

Drone strike kills eleven in Nangarhar

On Tuesday, a drone strike killed eleven insurgents in Nangarhar province according to local officials (TOLO News). According to the officials there were no civilian casualties.

Violence against women rises 7 percent in southeastern Afghanistan

On Monday, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission office in Paktia province reported that incidents of violence against women increased by seven percent in the country’s southeast in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 (Pajhwok). The office reported 79 murders and suicides, nine rapes, 14 economic issues, and 33 forced marriages.

— David Sterman

India

Congress leaders to appear in court

Top Congress party leaders Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi have been ordered to appear in court over allegations that the party illegally acquired the National Herald, a defunct newspaper, in 2010 (NDTVBBCWSJ). According to the petitioner, Subramanian Swamy from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress allegedly illegally used its funds to take over the assets of newspaper, which ceased publication in 2008. The National Herald was founded in 1938 by Sonia’s grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was India’s first prime minister. Congress claims that it purchased the newspaper in order to revive it. Rahul Gandhi said that the allegations were nothing more than a “political vendetta.” The Delhi High Court, however, refused to cancel the court summons on Monday, requiring that the two Congress leaders appear in person. The court date has been set for Dec. 19.

India to sign bullet train deal with Japan

India is set to sign a deal with Japan on its first bullet train, according to The Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper (NDTVTOI). According to the report, Japan will offer $8.1 billion in loans to finance construction of a high-speed rail link between the western cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which is expected to cost a total of $14.6 billion. Upon completion, the train is expected to reduce the travel time between the cities from eight hours to two. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are expected to issue a joint statement on the deal during Abe’s visit to India later this week.

Adulterated alcohol kills 5

Five people have died and seven others are critically ill after consuming adulterated alcohol at a bar in Vijayawada in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh (Asian AgeThe Hindu). The chief minister of the state ordered a magisterial inquiry over the deaths, and the state government announced that it would provide 500,000 rupees (around $7,500) to the families of each of the five victims. A total of 34 people have fallen ill in the Krishna Lanka neighborhood of the city.

— Udit Banerjea

Pakistan

Bonus Read: “How I Became a Casualty of Pakistan’s Silent War on Speech,” by Mohammad Taqi (South Asia).

PM Sharif to attend TAPI pipeline groundbreaking next week

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Tajikistan Afghanistan Pakistan India pipeline in Tajikistan next week, according to a report in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper on Tuesday (Dawn). The groundbreaking ceremony for the $10 billion project, which was conceived 25 years ago, will occur in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Pakistan is expected to begin receiving gas via the pipeline in 2019.

Egypt considers buying Pakistani JF-17s

Egypt is considering purchasing Pakistani JF-17 combat aircraft, according to reports early this week (Defense News, Ahram Online). Egypt’s ambassador to Pakistan Sherif Shaheen told Ahram Online that there are “current negotiations regarding the purchase.” The JF-17 is a multi-role combat aircraft produced jointly by China and Pakistan.

— David Sterman

Edited by Peter Bergen

Jawad Jalali/AFP/Getty Images

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