British-origin Al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Omar Sheikh has been acquitted on Thursday in connection with the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. The Supreme Court of Pakistan gave this order. The Supreme Court, in its order, dismissed the appeals filed against the acquittal of Sheikh. Along with this, the court also ordered the release of Sheikh in this sensational case.
Pearl (38), the South Asia bureau chief of ‘The Wall Street Journal’, was kidnapped in Karachi in 2002 when he was gathering information for a news report on relations between Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI and Al Qaeda. . He was then beheaded and murdered. Sheikh and his three associates were convicted in the case and sentenced.
The Supreme Court dismissed the Sindh Provincial Government’s appeal against the Sindh High Court’s ruling that ended Shaikh’s conviction for Pearl’s murder. A bench of three judges also ordered the suspect to be released. A member of the bench opposed the decision.
His lawyer Mahmud Sheikh told the media that the bench upheld the order of the Sindh High Court, which dismissed the appeals and ordered the release of Sheikh. A two-judge bench of the Sindh High Court overturned Omar Sheikh’s death sentence in April 2020 and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment and acquitted three other accused Fahad Nasim, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib. .
These accused were earlier sentenced to life imprisonment by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC). The Sindh government and Daniel Pearl’s family filed petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s decision.
Meanwhile, the US State Department said that it would keep an eye on any developments in the case and would continue to support Pearl’s family. The United States is increasing pressure on Pakistan to demand justice for Pearl.