Kidnappers demand $2m amid reports of killing
KARACHI- Kidnappers holding missing US journalist Daniel Pearl Friday demanded two million dollars within 36 hours for his safe release, a police officer said.
The anonymous call late Friday to the US consulate in Karachi, also demanded the release of the former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, a senior police official told the news source on condition of anonymity. There was no one available at the consulate to confirm the details.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal on Friday said it had seen reports indicating its kidnapped reporter had been killed but said it remained hopeful the reports were untrue.
“We have seen the latest reports and we remain hopeful that they are not true,Â” said a statement from the paper.
US doing utmost to save newsman. A report from Washington says, President Bush said Friday the United States was doing everything it could to save the kidnapped US journalist.
Bush said his administration was working with Pakistan to help Wall Street Journal correspondent.
‘We are working with the Pakistani government to chase down any leads possible,’ Bush told reporters ahead of a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah.
‘For example, we’re trying to follow the trail of the e-mails that have been sent with the sole purpose of saving this man, of finding him and rescuing him.
‘We’ve been in touch with The Wall Street Journal and, obviously, we’re deeply concerned as is the Pakistani government, and we will continue to do everything we can to rescue him.’
Pearl, 38, disappeared after telling his wife he was going to interview Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani, leader of the little known militant Muslim group Tanzeem-ul-Fuqrahi.
In Karachi US Federal Bureau of Investigation agents quizzed a key suspect in the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl.
“Some FBI people have interrogated (Mubarak Ali Shah) Gilani, but not formally. They put certain questions to him in connection with the case,” a senior police officer said.
“I am not sure whether they will again interrogate him or not, but if there are certain things which they want to enquire about, they can visit him,Â” the officer said.
Source: The Nation