Following are the top foreign stories at 2000 hours

FGN44 CHINA-INDIA-LD BORDER Maintaining peace and tranquility along Sino-India border in common interests of both parties: China Beijing: Asserting that China and India are 'important neighbours to each other', China on Wednesday said maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Sino-India border is in the common interests of both the parties and requires joint efforts. By K J M Varma FGN42 VIRUS-IMF-INDIA-ECONOMY IMF projects sharp contraction of 4.5 per cent in Indian economy in 2020; a historic low Washington: The IMF on Wednesday projected a sharp contraction of 4.5 per cent for the Indian economy in 2020, a 'historic low,' citing the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic that has nearly stalled all economic activities, but said the country is expected to bounce back in 2021 with a robust six per cent growth rate. By Lalit K Jha FGN49 US-PAK-TERROR-REPORT Pak remains safe haven for terrorists; took 'modest steps' to counter terror financing: US report Washington: Pakistan took 'modest steps' in 2019 to counter terror financing and restrain India-focused militant groups from conducting large-scale attacks following the Pulwama attack in February, but it remained a 'safe harbor' for regionally focused terrorist groups, the US said on Wednesday. By Lalit K Jha FGN48 UK-INDIAN-DOCTORS UK Home Secretary under pressure to extend Indian doctors’ visas till end-2020 London: Britain’s leading doctors’ associations are calling on UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for an automatic fee-free extension of the short-term visas of many Indian doctors stranded in the lockdown as they await their international qualification exams in the UK. By Aditi Khanna FGN47 RUSSIA-RAJNATH-2NDLD PARADE Indian military contingent participates in Victory Day Parade in Russia; makes Rajnath Singh proud Moscow: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he was extremely proud that a 75-member Tri-service contingent of the Indian Armed Forces participated in the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day Parade at the iconic Red Square here on Wednesday.

FGN34 PAK-UN-INDIANS Pak expresses disappointment over failed attempt to blacklist Indian under UNSC sanctions committee Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the failure of its bid to designate an Indian national as a global terrorist by the UNSC and hoped that the sanctions committee of the world body's top organ would consider its requests for sanctions on three other Indians. By Sajjad Hussain FGN31 PAK-QURESHI-INDIA Qureshi accuses India of plotting attack on Pakistan to divert attention from dispute with China Islamabad: A day after Pakistan was asked to reduce its staff at its High Commission in New Delhi by half, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday accused India of plotting an attack on his country to divert its Opposition's attention from its border dispute with China.

FGN23 PAK-TEMPLE Foundation stone for Islamabad's first Hindu temple laid Islamabad: Pakistan has started the construction process of a Rs 10 crore Hindu temple -- the first in Islamabad. By Sajjad Hussain FGN21 US-POLL-TRUMP-INDIANS US poll: Indian-American community to play key role in battleground states, says Trump supporter Washington: The Indian-American community is set to play a vital role in some of the key battleground states like Texas, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania in the US presidential polls, according to a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump. By Lalit K Jha FGN20 UAE-INDIANS-MURDER Indian couple murdered by Pakistani man in Dubai Dubai: An Indian businessman and his wife were brutally murdered by a Pakistani man inside their villa in Dubai during a break-in and robbery bid, according to a media report.

FGN14 US-TRUMP-GREEN CARD Trump defends suspending Green Card applications till Dec 31 Washington: US President Donald Trump has defended his decision to suspend issuing of green cards till the end of the year, saying it was needed to give jobs to Americans. By Lalit K Jha FGN16 UK-INDIAN-ENGINEERS Five Indian-origin environment techies feature in UK's Top 50 Women in Engineering list London: The UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Chitra Srinivasan is among five Indian-origin engineers to be named among the UK’s Top 50 Women in Engineering for 2020. By Aditi Khanna FGN13 US-H1B-LAWMAKERS H-1B visa suspension will harm American businesses that rely on immigrant workers: US lawmakers Washington: The temporary suspension of H-1B and other non-immigrant visas by President Donald Trump will 'disproportionately' impact high-skilled workers from Asia as well as harm the American businesses that rely on immigrant workers, US lawmakers have said. By Lalit K Jha FGN8 US-INDIAN RESTAURANT US: Sikh-owned Indian restaurant vandalised in New Mexico Washington: An Indian restaurant owned by a Sikh in the Sante Fe city in the US state of New Mexico was broken into and vandalised with hate messages scrawled on its walls, according to a media report. By Lalit K Jha FGN27 PAK-PIA-CRASH-PILOTS Pilots of crashed PIA plane were not focussed, were discussing coronavirus: Minister Islamabad: The pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane that crashed last month were not focussed and they were discussing coronavirus during the flight, the country's aviation minister told Parliament on Wednesday as he pointed out their 'overconfidence and lack of concentration' as some of the reasons for the tragedy that killed 97 people on board.