Pakistan’s Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the release of terrorists Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, Fahd Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib, accused in the kidnapping and murder case of American journalist Daniel Pearl. The US on Thursday expressed deep concern over the Sindh High Court’s decision to release the four terrorists responsible for the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl.
Hearing the Wall Street Journal journalist Pearl’s murder, the Sindh High Court said that it is illegal to keep all four terrorists in jail. The decision to leave Omar Sheikh is being considered as ISI move. According to Daily Pakistan, the Sindh High Court has also ordered the names of accused Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and others to be placed in the Exit Control List (ECL) so that they do not go outside the country.
The US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs tweeted, “We are deeply concerned with the Sindh High Court’s December 24 decision to release many terrorists responsible for the murder of Daniel Pearl. We have been assured that the accused will not be released at this time. We understand that this matter is still going on and we will have to monitor it closely. We want to stand with Pearl’s family during this very difficult process. We will continue to honor Pearl’s legacy as a courageous journalist. ‘
Among these accused, Omar Sheikh is the same killer whom India released in 1999 in exchange for leaving Air India aircraft in Kandahar. Earlier on April 2, 2020, after an 18-year sentence, the High Court heard the appeal of these terrorists and acquitted Sheikh, Saqib and Naseem.
The court changed Shaikh’s death sentence to seven years in jail and imposed a fine of 20 lakh Pakistani rupees on him. The court said that Omar Sheikh had already spent 18 years in jail and his sentence of seven years had been completed.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives in the US has expressed deep concern over the decision of the Pakistani court. In 2014, Sheikh tried to kill himself by hanging from a ventilator.
Journalist of The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl was the South Asia Bureau chief and in 2002 was working on terrorists’ contact with al-Qaeda within Pakistan. He was very close to the results of investigating these contacts, but only then was he kidnapped and later beheaded. Since then, America has put pressure on Pakistan regarding this massacre.
Changing the sentence of terrorist Omar Sheikh is being considered as a ploy of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. ISI believes that due to the Corona crisis on one hand, the attention of the US is still divided and on the other side there is a transfer of power in the US. In such a situation, if terrorist Umar Sheikh is released, America will not be able to protest much.