Pakistan's envoy says both countries must work on bonding peacefully to bolster ties

New Delhi, Dec 09 (ANI): Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit said that both nuclear-armed neighbours must work on bonding peacefully with each other in a bid to bolster ties, while attending classical musical event in New Delhi. Speaking to a mediapersons at the event, Basit said if both neighbours work on their issues peacefully a solution can be worked out soon, which will enhance future engagements. The guests were also awed by the delicacies served at the event, prepared by Pakistani chefs. Muslim Pakistan maintains Kashmir should have been included in its territory when British-ruled India was partitioned into independent India and Pakistan in 1947. India rejects that. Dec 9, 2014

Anti-government protests spread across nation after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf worker killing

Karachi/Lahore/Islamabad, Dec 09 (ANI): Protests by Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party widened across the country after activists from his party was gunned down in clashes with the ruling party's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) during a shutdown strike in Faisalabad city. The killing sparked protests in other cities of the country including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The protesters also took to streets in Mutan, Gujrat, Guranwala, Sialkot, Peshawar and Hyderabad. The protesters in Karachi held banner that read "We condemn in strongest words the atrocities committed in Faisalabad". The demonstrator shouted "Go Nawaz Go" and "Go Shahabaz go". Earlier in the day as the news of PTI worker's killing spread, Imran Khan reacted to it in Islamabad before leaving for Faisalabad where he was due to address a rally. Dec 9, 2014

Delhi Rape accused driver's mother admits her son's crime, seeks punishment

Mainpuri/ New Delhi, Dec 09 (ANI): The rape accused Uber taxi driver's mother in Uttar Pradesh admitted her son's crime and sought punishment for him. Uber driver's mother, Gangashri, said in Mainpuri village of Uttar Pradesh, that if her son was guilty he should be punished. The arrested driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, appeared in court on Monday and was remanded in custody for three days. Three years ago, he was arrested on charges of raping a woman but was later acquitted, police said. Shiv Kumar's father Ramnath Yadav said though few cases had been filed against his son in the past, but he had not been convicted in any of those. The accused driver's neighbour also complained that he used to play a key role in eve-teasing cases in the village. Uber cab service has been banned by the government in the national capital and an FIR has been lodged against the company. The company said there were no defined rules in India on background checks for commercial transport licences and it was working with the government to address the issue. Dec 9, 2014

Diamond deals to add sparkle to India-Russian ties

India's gemstone industry will hope to add some sparkle to ties between New Delhi and Moscow this week by persuading Russia to massively increase its exports of diamonds direct to the global hub of cutting and polishing. Dec 9, 2014

phase of J and K Assembly elections commence on Tuesday

Jammu and Kashmir, Dec 09 (ANI): Voters queued up at polling stations as voting for third round of the five-phase assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir began on Monday. People braved the extreme cold weather to come out and cast their vote hoping for a good government in the state who look after the issues facing the region. J and K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and three of his cabinet colleagues are among 144 candidates whose fate will be decided in the third phase of polling in 16 seats spread across Budgam, Pulwama and Baramulla districts. Unprecedented security arrangements have been made as voting is taking place in the shadow of terror attacks from across the border that left at least 21 people dead in the Kashmir. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying, "Urging all those voting today, in Phase 3 of the Assembly elections in J and K and Jharkhand, to turnout in record numbers and cast their vote." Dec 9, 2014

Voting begins for third phase of Assembly polls in Jharkhand

Jharkhand, Dec 09 (ANI): Voting for the third phase election to the Jharkhand Assembly began on Monday in 17 constituencies spread across eight districts. A strong electorate of above 50 lakh people are eligible to exercise their franchise to choose among 289 candidates, including 26 women. Voters seemed enthusiastic to cast their vote and bring a government that work for the development of the state. Security forces are keeping a close watch in the Maoist-affected areas where 1,957 booths have been marked as highly sensitive and 1,477 as sensitive booths. Polling will end at 3 PM in 14 constituencies and continue till 5 PM in Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke constituencies. Prominent candidates in fray are former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi (Dhanwar), ex-Assembly Speaker CP Singh (Ranchi) and three incumbent ministers Finance Minister Rajendra Prasad Singh (Bermo), Water Resources Minister Annapurna Devi (Kodarma) and Drinking and Sanitation Minister Jaiprakash Bhai Patel (Mandu). Dec 9, 2014

Sushma Swaraj says terrorism serious challenge for SAARC nations

New Delhi, Dec 09 (ANI): Militancy is one of the serious challenges that is being faced by the South Asian region, said Union Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, while speaking at event of SAARC in a gobalising world in New Delhi. Swaraj said that there was no region in the world that shares history, culture and geography like the eight counties of SAARC do. She said if SAARC nations work together, they can solve any problem. Swaraj also said the nations should share information to neutralize threats posed by militants. Dec 9, 2014

Govt creating shelf of 500 ready-to-launch projects for infrastructure growth: Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi, Dec 09 (ANI): Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that the government was creating a shelf of 500 ready-to-launch projects to bolster infrastructure in the country and will start necessary processes soon. Addressing an Infrastructure summit, organised by Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) in New Delhi, Gadkari said that out of 2, 80, 000 crore rupees worth of projects, 1, 80, 000 crore rupees had already been put to use. Gadkari said that tenders would be given once all necessary processes were dealt with. The projects, he said, cost more than 3 lakh crore rupees. He added that the cabinet had taken a decision to make model agreement to solve discrepancies. He also said electronic toll system would be installed across India and suggested building more water ports, seaports and bus ports. Dec 9, 2014

Sangai festival promotes Manipur as a tourist destination

Manipur, Dec 09 (ANI): Thousands of locals, domestic and foreign tourists flocked the Hapta Kangjeibung palace compound in Imphal to witness the annual Sangai festival organized by the Manipur Tourism Department. The 10-day long cultural extravaganza, known earlier as the Manipur Tourism Festival was renamed Manipur 'Sangai Festival' in 2010 to popularize "Sangai", a rare species of deer found in the state. Various ethnic tribes of the state showcased their indigenous handicraft and handloom items. Handmade traditional attires, jewelery, decorative items and household products were greatly appreciated by the visitors. Participants from neighbouring Thailand and Myanmar also set up their stalls and had a variety of products on display. A wide range of adventure activities were a major attraction for the children and adults alike. The visitors also got a chance to savor a variety of indigenous food. In the evening, the Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre was jam-packed as visitors thronged to witness a variety of cultural performances. Dec 9, 2014

Dogs get their own Christmas party in Los Angeles

Santa Claus paid a visit to a party organized for dogs in Los Angeles. Thirty dogs, and their owners, took part in the celebration put together by the "Southern California Brussels Griffons Club." Dec 9, 2014