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February 26, 2002
0935 IST

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US wants suspects in Pearl murder case extradited

Expressing its intention to get Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and other suspects in the Daniel Pearl murder case extradited to the United States, the Bush administration has pushed the ball in Pakistan's court saying it was for Islamabad to take a decision on the issue.

"Pakistan, of course, does have its own justice system, and I can't predict what it will decide to do," press secretary Ari Fleischer said on Monday.

However, Pakistan has maintained that terrorist suspects would not be extradited but would be dealt with by the country's judicial system.

Fleischer said White House lawyers had pointed out to an extradition treaty signed in 1931 with the British rulers in undivided India, which became effective in 1942.

Earlier, President George W Bush expressed similar sentiments saying the US was 'interested in dealing with' the Islamic extremists implicated in the killing of Pearl, but said he was satisfied with Pakistan's efforts to round-up Pearl's killers.

Bush said Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had vowed during a phone call last week that he would do everything in his power to track down the killers and bring them to justice.

"I could tell from the tone of his voice how distraught he was, how disturbed he was that this barbaric act had taken place in his country," Bush added.

UNI

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