Pearl booked on PIA flight for UK today: Police deny recovery -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pearl booked on PIA flight for UK today: Police deny recovery

KARACHI- US kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl is believed to have been recovered and he is scheduled to leave Islamabad for United Kingdom on Saturday morning.

According to documentary evidence obtained by Dawn, Daniel Pearl is booked on PIA flight PK-757 for London which leaves Islamabad at 0910 hours. His ticket No is T-214201897654. The booking was made on Feb 4. Officials, however, refused to provide information as to when the kidnapped journalist was recovered from Karachi and when taken to Islamabad.

Some sources in the police department said that Daniel Pearl was recovered early on Friday morning and was immediately handed over to the US officials involved in the investigation and recovery of the missing journalist. It could not be ascertained which agency spearheaded the recovery operation.

The News source tried to contact provincial police chief Syed Kamal Shah but he was not available for any comment. However, DIG (Operations) Karachi, Tariq Jamil, said that police did not know anything about Daniel Pearl’s recovery. “He could be some other Daniel who is booked on the flight,” Tariq Jamil said.

Earlier, the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) had said: “These reports (about Pearl’s recovery) are baseless.” He went on to add that the investigations into the case were still being carried out and he hoped for the good. Daniel Pearl, a US journalist working for the Wall Street Journal, paid three visits to Karachi during two months. Daniel was seen last near the Metropole Hotel and later he went missing on Jan 23.

Police formally arrested three suspects late on Friday for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of the US journalist.

A senior police official said Salman, Fahad and Adil, who had been picked up from Gulistan-i-Johar, confessed to having sent electronic messages attached with photographs of Daniel Pearl to the media at the behest of a key suspect, Ahmed Umer Shaikh. “We have got substantial evidence and recorded the statements of the suspect which are enough to take their remand from a court concerned for further investigation,” he added.

The police were also looking for three other suspects – Hashim Qadeer, Mohammad Bashir and Imtiaz Siddique – who had earlier been thought to be the main suspects. Sources said Imtiaz was an impostor and he was in fact Umer Shaikh.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/9/2002