Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered that a Pakistani-British man convicted of beheading American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 be sentenced to death and sent to the government’s “safe house”.
Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who has been on death row for 18 years, will be under his care and will not be allowed to leave the safe house, but his wife and children will also be able to visit him.
Ahmed Saeed Sheikh, Sheikh’s father, who attended the hearing on Tuesday, said: “This is not complete freedom. It is a step towards freedom.
The Pakistani government has been threatening to keep Sheikh in jail since the Supreme Court upheld his acquittal of Pearl’s death last Thursday, a decision that angered Pearl’s family and the US administration. have done.
In a final attempt to end the acquittal, the Pakistani government and the Pearl family have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking a review of the decision to pardon Sheikh for Pearl’s murder.
Pearl Family lawyer Faisal Sheikh, however, said there was a long way to go in such a review because the same Supreme Court judges who had ordered Sheikh’s acquittal sat on the review panel.
The US government has said it will try to extradite Sheikh if he upholds his release. Sheikh has been charged with the murder of Pearl in the United States, as well as the 1994 kidnapping of an Indian national in a divided region of the Indian-administered region. The American was finally released.
In a government-run safe house, the sheikh will be under 24-hour guard – mostly military personnel – and will not be allowed out of the house. The location of such safe houses is generally kept secret. Pakistan’s security establishment has a number of such facilities available across the country.
Pearl went missing on January 23, 2002, in the port city of Karachi, where he was trying to blow up a Miami-bound flight with explosives hidden in his shoes. Was investigating links between.
The order to send Sheikh to a safe house will be a concession to the federal government as well as the government of the southern province of Karachi, which has been hearing contempt of court cases from lower courts and has refused to release Sheikh.
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