Natural for US to have reservations on Daniel case: FM

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OBSERVER REPORT
ISLAMABAD Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Saturday said it is natural for the United States to have reservations over the Daniel Pearl case. “The accused in Daniel Pearl murder case were arrested and faced trial as a result of which three people had to face imprisonment, while the central figure, Sheikh Umar, was handed a death sentence,” FM said. The foreign minister added that the accused had a right to appeal and the Sindh High Court while acknowledging this right, suspended their sentence pronounced by the anti-terrorism court in Hyderabad, setting all three accused free and commuting Sheikh Omar’s capital punishment into seven-year imprisonment. “This decision caused the reservations,” Qureshi said. “The Sindh Home Department has decided to detain the accused for 90 days under the Public Safety Act.” The country’s top diplomat further said that it is now up to the appellate forum either to uphold the SHC’s decision or declare it null and void. Pearl was a leading journalist who was abducted for ransom and later killed. Fingers were raised on Pakistan and immense criticism was hurled against us as soon as the news regarding his murder came out, stated the foreign minister. “Pakistan has made many sacrifices in the fight against terrorism,” the FM said and added, “The entire nation fought a long war against terrorism and defeated this menace with collective efforts.”