Main accused in Daniel Pearl’s murder case Omar Sheikh shifted to Lahore
Omar Saeed Sheikh. File photo
The main accused in American journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder case, Omar Saeed Sheikh, has been shifted to Lahore from Karachi over security reasons, reported 24News HD TV channel Monday.
The Sindh Police have handed over the Omar Saeed Sheikh to Punjab the Counter Terrorism Department in Lahore for security reasons and he has been shifted to the CTD’s Chung cell in Lahore.
It may be recalled that in January this year, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) had ordered the release of four men including Omer Saeed Sheikh who were accused of the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.
The government has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of the accused in the high profile case after the decision provoked a strong international reaction and the US State Department also showed concerns over the decision.
"Today's decision is a complete travesty of justice and the release of these killers puts in danger journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan," the Pearl family said in a statement released by their lawyer.
The White House said it is "outraged" at the court's order.
US President Joe Biden's administration is "outraged by the Pakistani Supreme Court's decision," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
She called the ruling "an affront to terrorism victims everywhere" and called on the Pakistani government to "review its legal options."
The British-born alleged master-mind in the abduction that later led to the murder of Pearl is still in the custody of law enforcement institutions and now he was shifted to Lahore from Sindh over security reasons.
Daniel Pearl was a South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal when d he was kidnapped and later beheaded while working on a story.
The Supreme Court will resume on March 25 the hearing of the Sindh government’s petition involving Omer Saeed Sheikh. A three-judge Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Munib Akhtar will take up the Sindh government’s application.
At the last hearing on Feb 2, 2021, the Supreme Court had ordered placing Saeed Sheikh in a residential environment like a government rest house with the provision of facilities for a normal life, albeit without access to the outside world through telephone, internet, etc.
What happened to Daniel Pearl?
Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl travelled to Pakistan and he was working on stories. He was beheaded and his gruesome death was filmed.
Pearl was investigating the link between militants and Richard C. Reid, nicknamed the "Shoe Bomber," who tried to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami with explosives inside his shoes.
Sheikh was convicted of helping lure Pearl to a meeting in the southern port city of Karachi, where he was kidnapped.
Who is Omar Saeed Sheikh?
Omar Saeed Sheikh, the man accused of his murder, was born in Britain, attended the London School of Economics. In 1994 he was imprisoned in India but five years later freed in exchange for the airline passengers hijacked by gunmen when they forced the airline to land in the then Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Reporter Irfan Malik