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Omar Sheikh to be transferred to Lahore jail

Supreme Court has given authorities one week to move him

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago
Posted: Mar 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago

Photo: AFP/file

The Supreme Court has allowed the transfer of Ahmed Omar Shaikh, who was convicted of kidnapping US journalist Daniel Pearl in 2012, from Karachi to Lahore.

He will be shifted to Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.

The court was informed that Sheikh Adil, another man acquitted in the murder case, has been sick for some time now. It instructed authorities to provide with him all medical facilities.

It has summoned a reply from the Punjab chief secretary too. The case has been adjourned for two weeks.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial remarked that the court is not happy with the constant detention of the men even after their acquittal.

Punjab Additional Advocate General Faisal Chaudhry said that Omar Sheikh will be kept in the same colony as jail employees. Rangers and police personnel will be deployed outside it.

Justice Sajjad Ali Shah asked why is the Punjab government asking for more time if they want to keep him within the jurisdiction of the jail.

On January 28, the Supreme Court ordered Sheikh’s release. The White House said it was “outraged” by this decision. Following this, the Sindh and federal governments filed a review petition against the verdict. 

Daniel Pearl murder case

Daniel Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002. He was researching links between Pakistan-based militants and Richard C Reid, who is also known as the ‘shoe bomber’ for trying to detonate a shoe bomb on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2001.

His wife Mariane Pearl, a US national who was living in Karachi’s Zamzama, had informed the police of his disappearance after nearly 10 days on February 2, 2002.

She had received an email from the abductors who said Pearl had been abducted “in retaliation for the imprisonment of Pakistani men by the US government in Cuba and other complaints,” she had told the police.

A graphic video showing Pearl’s decapitation was delivered to the US Consulate in Karachi nearly a month after his kidnapping.

After this, a case was filed against the suspects and the prosecution produced 23 witnesses. Sheikh was arrested by Pakistani security agencies in February 2002 and an anti-terrorism court convicted him and others on July 15, 2002.

An investigation, led by Pearl’s friend and former Wall Street Journal colleague Asra Nomani and a Georgetown University professor, claimed the reporter was murdered by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, not Sheikh.

Mohammed — better known as KSM — was arrested in Pakistan in 2003. He is currently detained in Guantanamo Bay. 

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