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Pak. bid to damage peace will be defeated: Jaswant
The External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, today said India resolved to defeat all attempts by Pakistan to damage prospects of peace in Jammu and Kashmir even as security forces defused an improvised explosive device (IED) and averted a tragedy in Srinagar as militants continued to ignore the ceasefire offer. And, the Army Chief, General S. Padmanabhan, said the security forces would ``reciprocate militant attacks during the ceasefire period''.

Pak. assessing Advani's statement
Pakistan is carefully assessing the recent statement from the Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, that the unilateral Indian ceasefire was not only directed at the Kashmiri militants but Islamabad also diplomatic sources here said.

SGPC president: Badal to announce candidate today
The much-awaited meeting today of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), owing allegiance to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, proved to be an anti- climax. Similar to the outcome of the Dal's Political Affairs Committee (PAC) meeting last week, today's meeting also ended after authorising the Chief Minister and party president, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, to name the candidate for tomorrow's annual election of the SGPC president.

 'Going back to Lahore will be appropriate'
The Clinton administration views the Prime Minister, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee's Ramzan ceasefire initiative in Kashmir as a welcome development deserving of a response from the Kashmiri militant groups.

Iraq seeks 'strategic ties' with India
India has struck a counter-trade oil deal with Iraq as part of an effort to build a strategic relationship with Baghdad. Iraq, suffering under the U.N. sanctions regime, has also promised to give ``priority'' to countries like India after the sanctions are lifted.

Mandela, bank to share Gandhi Prize
The liberator of South Africa and Nobel laureate, Mr. Nelson Mandela, and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh are to jointly share the prestigious International Gandhi Peace Prize for 2000.

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