ISLAMABAD: Amid mounting stress from the US and the UN, the Pakistan authorities has mentioned it will formally be a part of the assessment proceedings initiated by the Sindh administration in opposition to the Supreme Courtroom’s acquittal of British-born al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and his three aides within the brutal homicide of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
Pearl, the 38-year-old South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Road Journal, was kidnapped and beheaded whereas he was in Pakistan investigating a narrative in 2002 on the hyperlinks between the nation’s highly effective spy company ISI and al-Qaeda.
The Supreme Courtroom on Thursday ordered the discharge of principal accused Sheikh and his aides – Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib – by dismissing appeals in opposition to their acquittal by the Sindh Excessive Courtroom.
The judgement was denounced by Pearl’s household as “an entire travesty of justice”.
The Sindh authorities on Friday filed a assessment petition within the apex court docket in opposition to the acquittal of Sheikh and his three accomplices.
A spokesman of the Legal professional Common of Pakistan on Saturday introduced that the federal authorities will file an applicable software earlier than the apex court docket to be allowed to hitch as a celebration within the proceedings and additional search assessment and recall of the court docket’s January 28 judgement.
The federal authorities will file an software for the structure of a bigger bench to listen to the assessment petitions.
In cooperation with the provincial authorities, the federal authorities will proceed to take all authorized steps to convey the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice in accordance with the regulation, the spokesman mentioned.
The announcement got here after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Overseas Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi over cellphone and mentioned the accountability of convicted terrorists liable for the brutal homicide of Pearl.
Blinken additionally expressed “deep concern” over the apex court docket’s judgement.
The Pakistan Overseas Workplace in an announcement mentioned Qureshi underscored that it was necessary and within the mutual curiosity that justice is served by way of authorized means.
In accordance with some media studies, the Supreme Courtroom would hear the assessment petition on February 1.
Nevertheless, no formal announcement has been made as but.
Expressing concern over the acquittal of these concerned within the brutal homicide of Pearl, a senior UN official representing Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres mentioned that it is vital that there’s accountability for such crimes.
“What’s necessary that there be accountability for these crimes dedicated,” mentioned Stephane Dujarric mentioned on Friday.
The US additionally has been mounting stress on Pakistan, demanding justice for Pearl.
Final month, the US mentioned it is able to take custody of Sheikh, asserting that Washington won’t enable him to evade justice.
Appearing Legal professional Common Monty Wilkinson mentioned the US was deeply involved by the ruling affirming the acquittal of people convicted by a Pakistani trial court docket.
“The discharge of these concerned can be an affront to Daniel Pearl’s household, to different terrorism victims around the globe, and to the reason for justice,” Wilkinson mentioned.
In a tweet, Congressman Brad Sherman mentioned: “The killers of Daniel Pearl go free. And Dr. Afridi, who helped the US get Osama Bin Laden, rots in jail.”
“We’re deeply disenchanted that Pakistan’s Supreme Courtroom has acquitted and ordered the discharge of Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh, regardless of overwhelming proof of Sheikh’s involvement within the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, which led on to his homicide,” mentioned Steven Butler, Committee to Shield Journalist’s Asia programme coordinator.
In April 2020, a two-judge Sindh Excessive Courtroom bench commuted the loss of life sentence of 46-year-old Sheikh to seven years imprisonment.
The court docket additionally acquitted his three aides who have been serving life phrases within the case — nearly 20 years after they have been discovered responsible and jailed.
The Sindh authorities and the household of Pearl filed petitions within the apex court docket, difficult the excessive court docket verdict.
The Sindh authorities invoked the Upkeep of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960 to maintain the 4 males below detention.
Their steady detention was challenged within the Sindh Excessive Courtroom (SHC), which on December 24 directed safety businesses to not hold Sheikh and different accused below “any form of detention” and declared all notifications of the Sindh authorities associated to their detention “null and void”.
The order elicited a right away response from the US, which on December 25 expressed its “deep considerations” over the SHC order.
The US State Division mentioned it’ll proceed to observe any developments within the case and can proceed to assist the Pearl household “by way of this extraordinarily tough course of” whereas honouring the legacy of the “brave journalist”.
Sheikh in a handwritten letter to the SHC in 2019 admitted his restricted involvement within the killing of Pearl.
The letter was offered to the Supreme Courtroom practically two weeks in the past and Sheikh’s lawyer on Wednesday confirmed the letter.
The accused, nevertheless, did not clarify the character of his function which he mentioned was “simply minor”.
Pearl’s homicide befell three years after Sheikh, together with Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, was launched by India in 1999 and given protected passage to Afghanistan in trade for the practically 150 passengers of hijacked Indian Airways Flight 814.
He was serving a jail time period in India for kidnappings of Western vacationers within the nation.