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February 5, 2002
2029 IST

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US satisfied with Pak's efforts to trace Pearl

K J M Varma in Islamabad

The United States on Tuesday said it was satisfied with 'vigorous' investigations undertaken by Pakistan to trace kidnapped US journalist Daniel Pearl, who has been missing for nearly three weeks.

"I am very impressed with what Pakistan is doing. The importance of this matter to the US simply cannot be overstated. The US is very grateful for the efforts taken to date to help resolve this situation," US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Kenneth W Dam, visiting Islamabad, said.

He said, "Efforts were underway to trace the missing The Wall Street Journal reporter, who was kidnapped by unknown persons in Karachi on January 23."

"We are satisfied with whatever the Pakistan has done. They are working hard to recover Pearl," he said.

Asked if he raised the issue during his meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, he said it figured.

However, he said his visit to Pakistan is not in connection with the missing journalist.

On reports in Pakistani media that the US has sought extradition of Mubarak Shah Gilani, the main suspect in the kidnapping case, he said, "I haven't. It is not appropriate for me to discuss the investigation process."

There have been no discussions on Shah's extradition, he added.

The US deputy secretary also urged Pakistan and India to resolve their differences peacefully.

"I am here to reinforce and reiterate President Bush's message to Pakistan and India to resolve their differences peacefully," he said.

On the US war against terrorism, Dam said, "Our success in destroying Al Qaeda's bases cannot lull us into a false security. We must not rest in our efforts to starve the terrorists of funds."

He said cooperation is the key to winning the war against terrorism, particularly on the financial front.

"We cannot cripple terrorist financial networks unilaterally," he said.

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