Monday September 27, 2021

Centre desires larger bench for Pearl review

January 31, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) said on Saturday the federal government would file an application in the Supreme Court of Pakistan for constitution of a larger bench to hear the review petitions in Daniel Pearl murder case.

A spokesperson for the AGP said in a statement that the federal government had decided to formally join review proceedings, initiated by the Sindh government in the Supreme Court against the order/judgment of acquittal, passed by the court in Daniel Pearl murder case.

For the purpose, the federal government would shortly file appropriate applications before the SC to be allowed to join as party. It would seek review and reversal of the order/ judgment of acquittal, passed in the appeals, filed by the Sindh government.

It further stated that the federal government, in cooperation with the provincial government, would continue to undertake all legal steps to bring perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice, in accordance with the laws of Pakistan.

Our Multan correspondent adds: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the media on Saturday that courts were independent in the country. However, he said, the government had filed a review petition against the Supreme Court decision in the Daniel Pearl murder case.

The FM said the Pearl family wanted justice in the murder case. The US believes Omar Sheikh was involved in Daniel Pearl murder. The US wants Daniel Pearl family to get justice, and Pakistan also wants it. The US has not demanded extradition of Omar Sheikh, he added.

Meanwhile, The Pearl family said “it intends to file a review petition against the illegal and unjust majority decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ensure that Ahmed Omar Sheikh and his co-conspirators are brought to justice for the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl”.

In a statement, it said: “It is beyond belief that Ahmed Omar Sheikh, who, after 18 years of lies, had finally admitted in a handwritten letter to the court his role in the kidnapping for ransom of Daniel Pearl, has been given a clean slate.

“He has been let loose once again upon the world to continue his international terrorist activities,” added the statement.

The family, however, appreciated the continuing efforts of the Pakistani federal government, the Sindh provincial government and the US government to ensure that the killers of Daniel Pearl were punished and kept in custody. “We also appreciate the minority judgment of Justice Yahya Afridi for his independence and courage in bringing to justice Ahmed Omar Sheikh and Fahad Naseem,” the family said.

The statement also thanked journalists everywhere, especially in Pakistan, and the people of Pakistan, for ensuring their voice for justice for Daniel Pearl was heard.

The statement said: “Let there be no doubt that our fight for justice for Daniel Pearl is not merely a personal struggle, but a struggle for the independence of all journalists and all innocent victims of terrorism in Pakistan and worldwide.

“Our voice for justice may have suffered a temporary setback by this travesty of justice, but it will never be silenced, and we remain committed in our quest for justice for Daniel Pearl.”