Sattar hopes Pearl is still alive
MUNICH- Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said on Sunday his country was still hunting for kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, dismissing messages that suggested he had been killed.
“We have made the determination that the telephone call that came yesterday (Saturday) to the US embassy and the e-mail were false, that they did not give correct information,” Sattar told Reuters Television on the fringes of a security conference in Germany.
“We hope that Daniel Pearl is still alive and we are continuing to make all the efforts that we can,” he said.
The fate of Pearl, 38, was thrown into question on Friday when one message said he had been killed but another demanded the release of a top Taliban prisoner held captive by the United States and $2 million ransom.
Sattar said the search would have been made easier if Pearl had left the names, numbers and addresses of people he planned to meet. “In order to investigate after a mishap takes place, our police must have some leads, where to look for him,” he said.
“I have a great deal of sympathy for the gentleman, Mr Pearl, and his family but I can only tell you that our authorities are doing the best they can to locate him,” the foreign minister said. -Reuters
SINGER’S PLEA: The Muslim singer, formerly known as Cat Stevens, called on Sunday for the release of Pearl, kidnapped 11 days ago. “As a message to those who are holding the journalist Daniel Pearl, I ask that the Mercy of Islam be shown,” the former pop singer, who changed his name to Yusuf Islam on converting to Islam in 1977, said in a statement issued in Washington. “If justice is your goal, then the cause of justice will not be served by killing an innocent man who has nothing but a pen in his hand.”
His appeal joins a growing number of calls for Pearl’s release – including appeals from former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who has urged Pearl’s captors to treat him “with compassion and kindness,” and from Pearl’s pregnant wife, Mariane, a French journalist.
CAIR APPEALS: The Council on American-Islamic Relations has joined in appeals for the immediate release of kidnapped Pearl.
The council’s chairman, Omar Ahmad, condemning the reporter’s abduction, said in a statement on Saturday: “Such actions by those claiming to act on behalf of Muslims are in sharp contradiction to Islamic teaching and violate the internationally accepted neutral status of journalists during times of conflict.”