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India rejects Pak. proposal, terms it 'propagandist'
India today rejected Pakistan's offer of a restraint regime for nuclear and conventional weapons and maintained that it would enter into a dialogue only after Islamabad created a ``proper environment'' for talks.

Norway hails Jaswant initiative
Emphasising the importance of India's role in Sri Lanka, Norway has welcomed the recent diplomatic initiative taken by the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh.

'Sharif compromised to get close to Vajpayee'
The Pakistani Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has said that Mr. Nawaz Sharif and Mr. A.B. Vajpayee were close because the former Pakistani Prime Minister had put the Kashmir issue on the backburner.

CBI issues summons to top cricketers
The Central Bureau of Investigation (Cbi) has issued summons to several cricketers, including present Indian coach Kapil Dev, former skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, former manager Ajit Wadekar and commentators Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar in the match-fixing case.

Seven killed in U.P. panchayat poll violence
Seven persons were killed and 25 injured as bomb blast and firings marred the first phase of panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh today. Polling was affected at a number of centres in Etah, Mainpuri, Ferozabad and Pratapgarh districts, reports said.

Christian Council 'surprised' at Naidu's denial
The All-India Christian Council has said that it was ``surprised'' that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, had denied having said that he had ``nothing to do with communal elements if they are proven to have a hand in the bomb explosions'' in churches in Andhra Pradesh.

 Suicide bomber strikes again
A suicide bomber of the LTTE killed himself and two others and wounded seven, while attempting to ram an Air Force bus in a northern suburb of the capital today.

 Coast Guard inspects hijacked ship
A boarding party of 10 lightly armed Naviks (sailors) of the Indian Coast Guard today boarded the ``hijacked'' Italian-flag cargo ship, mv Medstar, now anchored off the Mumbai anchorage point, and reported late in the evening that the 14 stowaways were not armed and there was no bomb on board as feared earlier.

 Advani meets Israeli President
Faced with the challenging task of countering terrorism, the Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, today met the Israeli President, Mr. Ezer Weizman, and discussed with the top Israeli police brass, various techniques employed by them to curb terrorism.

Pandya, Patel stick to their guns
The Keshubhai Patel Cabinet in Gujarat is facing a crisis with the Minister of State for Home, Mr. Haren Pandya, today submitting his resignation as a culmination of the week- long `cable war' involving another member of the cabinet.

India, Pak. alone can settle their issues: France
France today said India and Pakistan alone could settle all bilateral issues, including the Kashmir, in accordance with the Simla and Lahore agreements and declared that any third party could not ``contribute anything as mediator'' except motivate the two countries for a dialogue.

Probe into charges against Bacher
The King Commission of inquiry is conducting an ``urgent investigation'' into the match-fixing allegations made against Dr. Ali Bacher, managing director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa.

Fernandes begins U.K. visit
India's security concerns and London's efforts to push an arms export deal with New Delhi are likely to dominate discussions during the Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes' four-day visit to Britain which began today.

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