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Country fully united on Kashmir, says Vajpayee
New Delhi, Nov. 27. Rejecting Pakistan's charge that India is divided in its approach on Kashmir, the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today reaffirmed the Government's commitment to peaceful relations with its neighbour while insisting that there was no question of accepting another partition of the country and handing over Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan.

Slip-up over portfolio
New Delhi, Nov. 27. It was a pregnant pause right in the beginning of his reply - and an embarrassing one. As the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, rose to reply to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha, he seemed to forget what portfolio Mr. Jaswant Singh held.

 All eyes on N. Alliance
Koenigswinter (Germany), Nov. 27. The United Nations-sponsored conference on Afghanistan began at the hilltop castle of Petersberg here today under tight security and pouring rain with a gaggle of demonstrators from the Afghan diaspora calling for durable peace and respect of human rights.

Mazar-e-Sharif uprising quelled
Mazar-e-sharif (Afghanistan), Nov. 27. Northern Alliance fighters helped by U.S. special forces claimed on Tuesday to have quelled an uprising by captured Taliban soldiers after a third day of fierce fighting around a fortress prison.

Cong., SP cautious on Opposition unity
New Delhi, Nov. 27. A day after they broke bread together, for the first time in recent memory, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, preferred a cautious approach on Opposition unity, although Mr. Somnath Chatterjee of the CPI(M), who hosted the dinner on Monday, held out the hope of an expanding relationship, extending perhaps even to Uttar Pradesh.

BJP to cash in on textbooks row
New Ddelhi, Nov. 27. The ``saffronisation'' of textbooks controversy raised by the Opposition parties has been seized upon by the Bharatiya Janata Party as an encashable electoral issue in the coming Assembly elections. Every effort is being made to emphasise that ``Hindu'', ``Jain'' and ``Sikh'' sentiments would have been irreparably hurt if the ``offending passages'' in the school history texts had not been deleted.

India to take up copter issue with U.S.
New Delhi, Nov 27. India will take up with the U.S. officials the unauthorised sortie by a surveillance aircraft of a visiting U.S. naval destroyer over Chennai airspace ``so that instances of this nature are not repeated''.

ICC's deadline to BCCI
London, Nov. 27. The International Cricket Council (ICC) today gave a 72-hour deadline to the Indian Cricket Board to drop Virender Sehwag from the first test match against England next week, hinting that the tie may otherwise be stripped of official status.

20 killed in J&K encounter
Jammu, Nov. 27. Militants of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba today ambushed an Army patrol triggering a fierce gunbattle which killed 12 security personnel, including a Major, and eight ultras in the mountains of Surankote in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district.

Badungar is SGPC chief
Amritsar, Nov. 27. Mr. Kirpal Singh Badungar, Officer on Special Duty to the Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal chief, Mr. Parkash Singh Badal, was today elected president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC), the highest decision making body of the Sikhs.

New CJ for Orissa HC
New Delhi, Nov. 27. The President has appointed Mr. Justice Peruvemba Krishna Iyer Balasubramanyan, Judge of the Kerala High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Blow to Quattrocchi
Kuala Lumpur, Nov. 27. The Italian businessman, Mr. Ottavio Quattrocchi, fighting extradition to India to stand trial in the Bofors pay- off case, lost the first round in a Malaysian court today.

Tremors in Delhi
New Delhi, Nov. 27. Tremors were felt in several parts of the capital and neighbouring areas today resulting from an earthquake of moderate intensity in Nepal, the meteorological office here said.


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