Suspected captors not held, says DIG -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Suspected captors not held, says DIG

KARACHI- There is no progress in the US reporter’s kidnapping case as the investigation process has come to a standstill, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) (operations) Tariq Jamil told Dawn on Saturday.

Earlier, the DIG told reporters at a hotel that interrogation of Ahmed Omar Saeed Shaikh was continuing. He said Omar Shaikh was giving information in bits and pieces and added that “with that information we have developed new links.” The DIG declined to explain the “new links”.

About reports that one of the suspected captors had been arrested, Mr Jamil said: “It’s not true.”

When his attention was invited towards the statements of the interior ministry and Sindh Police Chief Syed Kamal Shah that a breakthrough was expected in next 48 hours or so, he said: “We are working to solve the case and I cannot give any timeframe.”

Other sources in the police department quoted Omar Shaikh as having identified more than three persons as captors of Wall Street Journal’s reporter. “We fear none of those, identified by Omar Shaikh, has a real identity, and we are looking into it to establish whether it is one person carrying various identities or they are different people.”

One of the investigators said the police had raided many places and picked up some suspects. “We are interrogating them … we have not made so far another breakthrough in the case,” he added.

Police sources said that they had focused their investigation on finding a man, who had actually perpetrated the crime, and added that after his arrest the mystery could be solved.

ADVOCATE-GENERAL: The claim of Omar Shaikh about the death of Daniel Pearl may have been an attempt to avoid the police custody, Sindh Advocate-General Raja Qureshi told Dawn.

Omar Shaikh had stated in the anti-terrorism court No 3 that “as far as I understand he (Pearl) is dead”. He had made the utterance while interrupting the judge, who was dictating a short order to the court reader for giving Omar Shaikh into the police custody.

When the judge quoted the advocate-general as submitting that the abductee was to be recovered on the lead to be given by the suspect, Omar Shaikh interrupted him, saying that as far as he understood the hostage was dead.

The AG, however, did not rule out the possibility that Omar Shaikh had used the electronic media for sending some “coded” message to the captors. He said the statement of the suspect could also aimed at misleading the investigators.

Meanwhile, Khwaja Naveed Ahmed, defence attorney for Fahad Naseem, one of the three suspects earlier arrested by the Karachi police, said that Omar Shaikh might have given such a statement to avoid questioning. He said he was concerned about the well-being of his client, who had allegedly sent the e-mail messages at the instance of suspects Salman and Adil.

The attorney said he had met his client only for two or three minutes when he had been produced before the administrative judge of the ATCs, Justice Shabbir Ahmed.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/17/2002