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February 22, 2002
1820 IST

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India condemns Daniel Pearl's murder

India on Friday condemned the "brutal and senseless" murder of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, and said it had once again drawn attention to the criminal forces of terror operating in Pakistan.

"It is a tragedy. His murder is a crime and an act of terror that we condemn," external affairs ministry spokeswoman Nirupama Rao said.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of Daniel Pearl. His brutal and senseless murder has once again drawn attention to the criminal forces of terror that continue to operate in Pakistan... to pursue their agenda of support to mindless violence and hatred," she said.

Asked about Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's comments that he would track down everyone involved in the gruesome killing, Rao said: "Much more needs to be done by Pakistan to root out such terrorist groups, individuals and forces in that country."

Observing that a number of such groups continued to operate in Pakistan, she said Pearl's murder proved beyond any doubt that "there is a problem in Pakistan. Rooting out of that problem has not been completed".

She said: "Our concerns on cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and directed against India still continues."

Responding to a question on Pakistani claims at tackling terrorism, the spokesperson said: "We are certainly not in a trance. Our eyes are wide open."

PTI

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