Leaders in South Asia are expressing sadness at the death of Pope John Paul.

Indian President Abdul Kalam said Sunday the world has lost a church leader and a statesman who tirelessly worked for peace.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said the pope had brought people of different faiths closer.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai said Pope John Paul was a man with concern for all human beings.

Pope John Paul's travels to South and Central Asia reflected his stated belief that spreading the Catholic faith and dialogue with other religions were not mutually exclusive but complimentary.

During his long papacy, the pontiff took trips to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and, twice, to India.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.