Britain-born al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and his three accomplices accused of kidnapping and killing American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan will remain behind bars despite a provincial court in Sindh ordering immediate release.
Sindh government officials confirmed that they would not release him and would instead seek permission from the court to keep him in custody.
The provincial minister said the local government is expected to file another petition on Monday against the Sindh High Court’s decision to immediately release Sheikh and co-accused in the kidnapping and murder case of a Wall Street Journal reporter She says.
The Sindh court on Thursday declared the order of detention null and void. But it clarified that the accused should not be released if there is a Supreme Court order regarding their detention.
The Sindh government is taking the stand that on September 28, the Supreme Court stopped the release of the convicts as it began to hear arguments that challenged the decision of the provincial court. The Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government believes the apex court’s order in the case is still valid, sources told the Daily Express Tribune.
The provincial government as well as Pearl’s parents had filed separate appeals against the April 2 order of the Sindh High Court, committing Sheikh’s death sentence to seven years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 2 lakh. Had changed.
The verdict came after hearing the appeals of Sheikh and his associates Fahd Naseem, Adil Sheikh and Salman Saqib against the conviction after 18 years. It acquitted Adil Sheikh, Saqib and Naseem and commuted the death sentence of Omar Sheikh to seven years. He has already spent 18 years in prison on the death penalty and his seven-year sentence for kidnapping is counted as time served.
However, the government issued two preventive detention orders for 90 days each, under which the accused continued in custody. The first notification was issued on the day the men were acquitted and the second one, after three months, they completed their detention period.
Pearl, then 38, was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi in January 2002 when she came to Pakistan to work on relations between ISI and al-Qaeda, Pakistan’s powerful espionage agency after the 9/11 attacks in the US Was in Carried out in 2001 by the terrorist group.
Adil Sheikh’s brother, Sheikh Aslam, told local media that if his brother was not released, he would file an application in the court on Monday.
On Friday, the US expressed “deep concern” over the order to release Sheikh and his allies and said it would continue to monitor any developments in the case.
“We are deeply concerned by the report of the December 24 decision of the Sindh High Court to release many terrorists responsible for the murder of Daniel Pearl. We have been assured that the accused have not been released at this time, ”the State Department said in a tweet.
It said that the US would continue to monitor any developments in the case and would support the Pearl family “through this extremely difficult process”, honoring Pearl’s legacy as a “courageous journalist”.
The United States is increasing pressure on Pakistan to demand justice on Pearl.
His parents Ruth and Judea Pearl condemned the decision made by the Sindh High Court and expressed their complete confidence in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to provide justice to their son and strengthen the paramount principle of freedom of the press, The Express Tribune Told.
“We refuse to believe that the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people will allow such an image of justice to be tarnished,” he said in a statement.
Pearl was killed by Omar Sheikh after three years with Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar, which was released by India and secured Afghanistan in exchange for about 150 passengers on hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 Gave way
He was serving a prison sentence in India for kidnapping Western tourists in the country.
(With inputs from agencies)
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