Pakistani court releases Omar Saeed Sheikh in Daniel Pearl case

Anushka Mansharamani

A Pakistani court ordered the immediate release of Omar Saeed Sheikh. Omar Saeed Sheikh was one of the 3 terrorists released in 1999 by India in exchange for the passengers of a hijacked airline IC-814.

The Pakistani Court declared his detention regarding the abduction and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl null and void.

During the release order, the Sindh High Court directed that their names should be on the no-fly list so that they do not leave Pakistan.

The presiding judge observed that the 3 men had been in jail for 18 years without the commitment of a crime.

In April 2020 the High Court heard the appeal of Sheikh, Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil, and Salman Saqib 18 years after they were sentenced to jail.

The court commuted Omar Saeed Sheikh’s death sentence to a fine of Rs. 2 million and 7 years of imprisonment. The 7 years sentence was counted in the 18 years that he had served in jail.

Preventive detention for 90 days was issued by the federal government for these men.

The first notification was issued on the day they were acquitted, and the second notification was issued after their 90 days detention period.

In January 2002, Daniel Pearl, the South Asia Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal, was abducted in Karachi.

He was abducted while researching to find a link between the militants in Pakistan and Richard C Reid, a shoe bomber. He suspected that they would try to detonate a bomb while on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2001.

Daniel Pearl was then killed in Karachi by his captors.

Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Masood Azhar, terrorist Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar and Sheikh, a British citizen of Pakistan was released by India in exchange for the passengers of a hijacked airline IC-814.

This hijack was done by a Pakistani terrorist from Kathmandu to Kandahar in December 1999.