AGENCIES, ISLAMABAD: On Thursday April 2, the Sindh court commuted the death sentence of Britain-born militant Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted 18 years ago for abducting and murdering US citizen Daniel Pearl who was the South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, to seven years. Three alleged accomplices in the kidnapping and killing of the US journalist were also released by that order.
The decision closely watched by the global community invited immediate backlash forcing Pakistan’s government authorities to step in by invoking a special order and have Sheikh and his accomplices in custody for three months.
With this development, it gives the government time to put together a legal appeal against their acquittal, reported Dawn News.
The appeal will be filed as early as next week in the Supreme Court by the Sindh government, the interior ministry said in a statement.
An anti-terrorism court in 2002 had convicted Sheikh and his three accomplices for abducting and brutally murdering the 38-year media person who was researching a story on the religious extremism in Pakistan’s Karachi.
Earlier, the court has rejected the state’s plea seeking an enhancement of the three accused’s life imprisonment.
“The government of Sindh has sufficient reason that Ahmed Omar Sheikh and Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, Sheikh Muhammad Adil be arrested and detained for a period of three months from the date of arrest [April 2, 2020],” a top official of the department said in the order.
The official cited concern that the released men may act “against the interest of the country”.