By National News Desk
Islamabad: On Thursday, the Sindh High Court ordered the release of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Sheik Adil and Salman Saqib in connection with the abduction and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
According to detail, the Sindh High Court also ordered the names of the accused Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh and others to be put on the exit control list (ECL). The accused has been in prison for the last 18 years and ordered the accused to appear as and when summoned by the court.
“Earlier Assistant Attorney General informed the court that the government have the authority to keep an accused in detention. The provincial home department held the accused under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) on September 28,” media reports said.
In April this year, the appeals were heard after 18 years and acquitted Sheikh, Saqib and Nasim.
Omar Saeed Sheikh, one of the three terrorists were freed by India during the hijacking of airliner IC814 in 1999 in exchange for the passengers.
After the appeals were heard, Sheikh’s death sentence was commuted to seven years and fined him Rs2 million. Sheikh has already spent 18 years in prison on death row, and his seven-year sentence for kidnapping was counted as time served.
The men were detained under Section 11 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
In 2002, Pearl, the 38-year-old journalist of The Wall Street Journal’s South Asia bureau, was abducted and beheaded while he was in Pakistan investigating a story of terror groups’ links to Al Qaeda.
The US House Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has expressed its “deep concerns” over Pakistan court’s decision in April to overturn the conviction of Omar Saeed Sheikh for the abduction and killing of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.