Sindh govt files review petition in SC in Daniel Pearl murder case
The Sindh government on Friday filed a petition in the Supreme Court (SC), requesting it to review its decision of setting free four people, including prime accused Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in US journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder case, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Sindh Advocate General Fiaz Shah said that it had lodged a review of the verdict at the Supreme Court in Islamabad. "The petition was filed to seek a review and request the court to recall the order of acquittal," Shah said.
An official at Central Prison Karachi where Sheikh is being held told AFP that they had not received a formal court order for his release. "As soon as the order is formally received, it will be followed," said the official requesting anonymity.
Daniel Pearl was an American journalist who was working for The Wall Street Journal at the time of his murder in Pakistan in 2002.
A three-member of the apex court, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, on Thursday had ordered the release of Omar Sheikh and three others. One member on the bench, however, had opposed Omar Sheikh’s release.
Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah had said on Thursday that the Sindh government will file an appeal in the Supreme Court, asking it to review its decision to release Umar Sheikh. He said the provincial government would fulfil the legal formalities before going into the appeal in the Daniel Pearl murder case.
Meanwhile, the federal government, too, has thrown its weight behind the Sindh government’s decision to appeal SC’s verdict in which it had ordered the release of the four accused.
Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan said on Friday that as far as Daniel Pearl’s murder case was concerned, the federal and Sindh governments were on the same page.
The swift move by the Sindh government came a day after the United States gave a strong reaction on the Supreme Court ruling.
Expressing concern over the Supreme Court’s verdict, the US has urged Pakistan to go for a review. White House spokesman asked the Government of Pakistan to appeal country’s apex court verdict.
The White House said it is "outraged" at the court order. The administration is "outraged by the Pakistani Supreme Court's decision," President Joe Biden's chief spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
She called the ruling "an affront to terrorism victims everywhere" and called on the Pakistani government to "review its legal options."
Psaki said the United States recognizes "past Pakistani actions to try to hold Mr Pearl's murderers accountable and we do note that as of right now Omar Sheikh remains in detention."
"We call on the Pakistani government to expeditiously review its legal options, including allowing the United States to prosecute Sheikh for the brutal murder of an American citizen and journalist."