The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) reaffirmed the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) decision to release the main accused in the Daniel Pearl murder case, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.
A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam passed the decision while one member of the bench opposed the decision. The SC freed British-Pakistani Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh dismissing the Sindh government’s plea.
Grasping At Straws?
Now the Sindh government asserts that it will repeal against the SC verdict for release of the main suspect in the Wall Street journalist’s death. Sindh Information Minister, Nasir Hussain Shah said;
“The Sindh government has decided to go for a review on the orders of the Supreme Court, … Omar Sheikh has admitted his involvement in the Daniel Pearl murder case,” he added.
The federal government is also on board according to a spokesperson for the Attorney-General for Pakistan.
Khalid Jawed Khan said;
“The federal government will provide the provincial government with every possible legal assistance in the matter,” the spokesperson said.
The apex court is also set to hear separate appeals against the SHC’s earlier acquittal of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and still awaiting a decision.
Netizens were largely disappointed over the release of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.
— Catherine Arnst (@cathyarnst) January 28, 2021
— JLeftyArt (@JLeftyArt) January 29, 2021
— Christine Campbell (@c2_campbell) January 29, 2021
— AbolishICE (@Redteapot64) January 28, 2021
Collegues of the WSJ Bureau Chief and US state authorities demand better.
Thoughts from close friend & colleague of #DanielPearl @AsraNomani @AJEnglish London Newshour –
after the man jailed over his abduction and murder is released by #Pakistan’s Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/5QNRHyVRFF
— Maryam Nemazee (@MaryamNemazee) January 29, 2021
— Jeremy Grant (@TradingJeremy) January 28, 2021
— Committee to Protect Journalists (@pressfreedom) January 28, 2021
The US newly appointed Biden administration is furious to say the least. In a statement last month, then-US acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said;
“America stands ready to take custody of Omar Sheikh to stand trial here”.
I am appalled by the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to free 4 individuals convicted of murdering @WSJ journalist #DanielPearl. This brutal crime, documented by the killers themselves, warrants more than just 18 years of prison time. His family deserves justice.
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member (@SenateForeign) January 28, 2021
I am deeply concerned by the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to acquit those involved in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder. We are committed to securing justice for the Pearl family and holding terrorists accountable.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) January 28, 2021
Indians sure are fanning the flames.
— prafulla ketkar 🇮🇳 (@prafullaketkar) January 29, 2021
— Dr Aparna Pande (@Aparna_Pande) January 29, 2021
#MEA on Pak SC ordering release of Omar Saeed, prime accused in #DanielPearl murder:
The low conviction rate in Pakistan against any terror accused and this case demonstrates the lack of seriousness on part of Pakistan in taking action on terror related issues.@MEAIndia https://t.co/wFvnw4u4CG pic.twitter.com/fS6hRMmepK
— Geeta Mohan گیتا موہن गीता मोहन (@Geeta_Mohan) January 28, 2021
— Rishikesh Kumar (@rishhikesh) January 28, 2021
The acquittal of #DanielPearl’s murderer, the Pakistani terrorist Omar Shaikh, is a classic example of how Pakistanis judiciary is used to protect and not punish terrorists. But US & others brought this on themselves by never holding Pakistan to account for its double games. https://t.co/ZvB6n8EZy1
— sushant sareen (@sushantsareen) January 29, 2021
I'd mentioned earlier very low conviction rate in #Pakistan when it comes to sentencing of terror accused. This demonstrates lack of seriousness on taking action on terror related issues: @MEAIndia on Pak SC releasing prime accused in journalist #DanielPearl beheading pic.twitter.com/48NU8ZBu7g
— India Ahead News (@IndiaAheadNews) January 28, 2021
What Does Daniel Pearl Family Have to Say?
Meanwhile, the Daniel Pearl family’s attorney, Faisal Siddiqui released a statement on how the SCP was the end of the line for the family. They have basically exhausted all avenues and a repeal isn’t much of a lifeline.
“Today’s decision is a complete travesty of justice and the release of these killers puts in danger journalists everywhere and the people of Pakistan,… In practical terms there are no further legal avenues to pursue in Pakistan,” he said.