India-Pakistan united in grief, call for eradicating terror

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New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) United in grief over the assassination of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, India and Pakistan today called for intensifying fight against terrorism.

While India described the assassination of Mrs Bhutto as a loss to democracy, Pakistan said it was an act of terror which Islamabad had been battling.

President Pratibha said it was a ''tragedy for the people of Pakistan to lose a leader of her stature in her prime.

She said the tragedy underscored the menace that terrorism posed to the stability of our societies.

''The assassination of Mrs Benazir Bhutto is a tragedy not just for Pakistan, but for the entire region,'' the President said in her message.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, in a brief television address, ordered three-day State mourning with national flags flying at half-mast and called for renewed fight against terrorism.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while expressing shock and horror at the ''heinous assassination'' of Ms Bhutto, said the sub-continent had lost an outstanding leader for democracy.

''I am deeply shocked and horrified to hear of the heinous assassination of Ms Bhutto,'' Dr Singh said in a condolence message.

The Indo-Pak Forum of Parlaiamentarians also expressed deep shock at the tragic assassination and called for peace and understanding.

''The need of the hour is peace and understanding,'' Forum President Nirmala Deshpande said in a statement.

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