NATIONAL

'Sort out terrorist list issue through talks'

WASHINGTON MARCH 29. The Bush administration has maintained that its demand for the handing over of Omar Saeed Sheikh for killing Daniel Pearl and India's demand to Pakistan to hand over 20 terrorists are two different things.

It has once again called on Islamabad and New Delhi to sort issues out through dialogue.

"They're two entirely different situations. That's the simple answer to that,'' the deputy spokesman of the State Department, Philip Reeker, said at the Washington Foreign Press Centre. "In terms of those who have been charged, indicted in Pakistan as well as those who have been indicted in the U.S. for Pearl's murder, we want to see justice done and we're very much in agreement with Pakistan on that aspect of it,'' Mr. Reeker said.

The legal processes involving the U.S. and Pakistan would have to be worked out. "We've made clear that we would like to have him and try him (Omar Saeed) under the charges that our own Justice Department has brought. Pakistan has legal requirements. We'll continue to work that as a legal process,'' Mr. Reeker said.

On India's demand to Pakistan to hand over 20 terrorists, Mr. Reeker said "we have encouraged both sides to work together. I think when the Secretary travelled in the region he said that he thought both sides could resolve all of the issues through dialogue, and that includes this one.''

In line with the administration's change of stance towards Pakistan, Mr. Reeker praised the Pakistan Government's stand on terrorism and the President, Pervez Musharraf's initiatives to tackle the menace.

"Gen. Musharraf has spoken strongly against terrorism'', he said.

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