Hunt for Daniel Pearl's kidnappers widens -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Hunt for Daniel Pearl’s kidnappers widens

KARACHI- Police said on Monday the hunt for the kidnappers of US reporter Daniel Pearl had shifted to Lahore amid signals their prime suspect had fled there from Karachi.

Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said investigators were hoping first to track down British-born Islamic militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the man suspected of masterminding the kidnapping, in the hope this would lead them to Pearl. “We are locating Sheikh Omar who is reportedly in Lahore,” he said. “Pearl may still be in Karachi. (But) Right now we are focusing on Sheikh Omar’s whereabouts.”

But another official source said investigations were also underway in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. “It (the search) is going on everywhere. These places are all within driving distance.”

The three men charged with aiding and abetting in the kidnapping were expected to appear in court on Monday, but lawyers said their appearance had been delayed for at least a day because a judge asked for clarification on his authority to hear the case under newly modified anti-terrorism legislation.

Khawaja Naveed, a lawyer who said he had been asked to represent Fawwad Naseem by his family, said he would not be asking for bail if and when his client appeared in court. “This is a high-profile case … (so) we want to assist the police in getting remand so they can complete their investigation,” he said.

Pakistan has tried to shift blame for the kidnapping on to India. US Deputy Treasury Secretary Kenneth Dam on Monday dismissed any implication of New Delhi’s involvement, but did not rule out the possibility that Indian-based terrorists had played a hand. “I’d like to say we believe that the Indian government hand is not involved in this,” he said.

Source: The News
Date:2/12/2002