Islamabad, (Asian independent) A senior counsel of the Sindh High Court (SHC) told the Pakistan Supreme Court that the 2002 abduction and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl were part of events related to international terrorism, the media reported on Thursday.
The remarks were made by counsel Farooq H. Naek on Wednesday in front of a three-judge Supreme Court bench that had taken up a set of appeals filed by the Sindh government, Pearl’s parents, and the key accused Omar Sheikh, the Dawn news report said.
The appeals challenge the April 2 SHC’s overturning of Sheikh’s conviction for kidnapping and killing the 38-year-old journalist.
To substantiate the claim, Naek cited the testimony of Sheikh who, during the recording of his evidence before the trial court on March 2, 2002, had expressed apprehension that he might be extradited to the US.
The counsel argued that five issues hinged around the question in determining the fate of the appeals.
The issues that needed to be hammered out were whether Sheikh hatched the conspiracy to abduct Pearl and demanded ransom after the abduction; whether Pearl was kidnapped in pursuance of the conspiracy for kidnapping for ransom and ransom demand was emailed to his wife on January 27, 2002; and on her failure to respond another email was sent on January 30, 2002 with a threat to kill the journalist with the pictures showing him in shackles.
Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped in Karachi in January 2002 while doing research on religious extremism.
Later a graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate after a month of his abduction.
Subsequently Sheikh was arrested and sentenced to death by the trial court.