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 India, Iran for global regime against terrorism
Proclaiming a significant political convergence, India and Iran today condemned international terrorism, called for a broad-based Government in Afghanistan, supported tolerance and pluralism, and agreed to quickly find a viable mechanism to transport natural gas from the Gulf to the Subcontinent.

 Demolition of masjid unfortunate: Advani
The Union Home Minister, Mr. L. K. Advani, today told the Liberhan Commission that the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992 was a ``painful and unfortunate'' incident that ``distressed'' him to a great extent.

Rao statement unfounded: Surjeet
The CPI(M) general secretary, Mr. Harkishan Singh Surjeet, today disputed the statement of the former Prime Minister, Mr. P. V. Narasimha Rao, before the Liberhan Commission of Inquiry and charged him with making ``some unfounded statements''.

Orders reserved on Jayalalitha plea
After more than five hours of arguments spread over two days, the Madras High Court today reserved orders on a petition filed by the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha, seeking a direction to suspend her conviction in two TANSI land deal cases, to enable her contest the coming Assembly elections.

'EC guidelines stand'
The Chief Election Commissioner, Dr. M. S. Gill, today evaded a direct reply to whether the AIADMK leader, Ms. Jayalalitha, would be able to contest the coming Assembly polls?

Ghani Khan irked at seat allocation
The West Bengal Congress screening committee today cleared the names of 50 of the 57 party candidates for the seats it is contesting in the coming Assembly elections. The remaining seven names will be decided by the central election committee tomorrow.

 Emissary may be sent to meet Karunakaran
The Congress leadership continued to extend an olive branch to Mr. K. Karunakaran, amid indications that a senior emissary would be travelling to Thiruvananthapuram to meet the estranged leader. ``Somebody will definitely go there, we have to resolve this at the earliest,'' said Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, general secretary in-charge of Kerala.

PM greets Pakistanis `from the air'
As he flew over Pakistan on his way to Iran today, the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, sent the customary greetings to the Pakistani people. In a message to Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive, Mr. Vajpayee extended his ``best wishes for the progress and well-being of the people of Pakistan.''

Panel on farm research soon
The Agricultural Ministry has proposed setting up of a Commission with Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, as the chairman for improvement of all agricultural, scientific and research institutions including the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to make the system more effective.

Indian software exports have slowed down: WB
The World Bank today warned that fiscal deficit in India at 5.6 per cent of GDP in 2000-01 continued to be high, limiting prospects of high economic growth in the coming years. Voicing concern over the large fiscal deficits, the bank's annual global development finance report released today, said such a trend would restrain more robust growth in India.


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