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News ::
New details emerge about Pearl murder in Pakistan (english)
25 Jan 2003
Modified: 26 Jan 2003
New details emerge about Pearl murder in Pakistan
New details emerge about Pearl murder in Pakistan
- By David Rohde
New York Times Service

Karachi, Jan. 24: The nursery where they killed him, one year later, is oddly peaceful. Lush mango, palm and pomegranate trees are in bloom, their thick, green leaves whispering in a gentle breeze.

Twelve months after Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal correspondent, was abducted and then murdered in this nursery which can be seen from the school’s upper floors, the hardline school and hundreds like it in Pakistan remain open.

A sense of unfinished business lingers over the case as new details emerge. The Pakistani ringleaders who kidnapped Pearl have been convicted or are in custody. But three men, who are suspected of being Al Qaeda members and who are believed to have killed him, are still at large.

Questions persist about the seriousness of the efforts of Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service to find Pearl, as well as the seriousness of the Pakistani military’s effort to crack down on militancy.

In December, the leader of the group whose members planned the kidnapping, Jaish-e-Mohammed was released from government detention. A militant arrested in police sweeps last May has provided new information about Pearl’s abduction and execution, according to Western officials. The man, identified as Fazal Karim, told the police he had worked as a night watchman at the nursery. Just after 7 pm on January 23, 2002, Pearl got into a car outside the Village Restaurant in central Karachi thinking he was on his way to interview a militant, Ahmed Omar Sheikh.

In truth, Pearl had been lured into a trap. He was driven around Karachi for several hours that night, at one point changing vehicles, Mr Karim, the watchman, told the police. It is not clear what Pearl saw, but during the final stretch of the ride his captors turned off a main highway heading north and drove toward the Gulshan-e-Maymar housing development on the outskirts of Karachi, which resembles an American suburban subdivision. Little about the area would provoke alarm. The captors took Pearl down a dirt road to a less-developed area nearby, stopping at the nursery.

During his first week of captivity, Pearl tried to escape during a trip to the outhouse, Mr Karim told the police. Mr Karim told the police that Pearl’s captors "roughed him up" as Pearl said he was "sorry," according to a Western official’s account.

He also told the police that Pearl was shot in the leg, but the Western official said an autopsy found no leg wound. On the sixth day of Pearl’s captivity, three men Karim described as Arabs from Yemen arrived. "The Arabs came prepared," said the Western official. "They had a satchel, a drop cloth and assorted knives." Pearl was then videotaped saying, "I am a Jew, my mother is a Jew," and reading a statement criticising the United States. "Then they put this blindfold over his head and started the execution," the Western official said. The Arabs then left, leaving the Pakistanis to bury Pearl. They placed his body parts back together and buried him face down, the official said. "It was very puzzling," the official said. "It was almost as if they were trying to set things right." Pakistani officials did not comment on the new version of events or even confirm that Karim and other militants are in their custody.

They are waiting until the completion of the appeal filed by Sheikh.
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to the poster (english)
26 Jan 2003
please email me at admin (at)
if you are intersted in working togther on The Hindu-Islamic conflict.