Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said it is natural for the United States to have reservations over the Daniel Pearl case.
“The accused in Daniel Pearl murder case were arrested and faced trial as a result of which three people had to face imprisonment, while the central figure, Sheikh Umar, was handed a death sentence,” FM said.
The foreign minister added that the accused had a right to appeal and the Sindh High Court (SHC) while acknowledging this right, suspended their sentence pronounced by the anti-terrorism court in Hyderabad, setting all three accused free and commuting Sheikh Omar's capital punishment into seven-year imprisonment.
SHC overturns convictions in Daniel Pearl murder case
“This decision caused the reservations,” Qureshi said. “The Sindh Home Department has decided to detain the accused for 90 days under the Public Safety Act.”
The country's top diplomat further said that it is now up to the appellate forum either to uphold the SHC's decision or declare it null and void.
Pearl was a leading journalist who was abducted for ransom and later killed. Fingers were raised on Pakistan and immense criticism was hurled against us as soon as the news regarding his murder came out, stated the foreign minister.
State Department slams Pakistani court overturning of Pearl murder convictions
“Pakistan has made many sacrifices in the fight against terrorism,” the FM stressed, “The entire nation fought a long war against terrorism and defeated this menace with collective efforts.”
A day earlier on April 3, a US State Department official said that the overturning of the convictions of four men in the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is “an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere,”
The overturning of the convictions for Daniel Pearl’s murder is an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere. We welcome Pakistan’s decision to appeal the verdict. Those responsible for Daniel's heinous kidnapping and murder must face the full measure of justice. AGW— State_SCA (@State_SCA) April 2, 2020