WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has spoken to the family of the slain American journalist Daniel Pearl, assuring them that the Biden administration will continue seeking justice for his murder.
“Secretary Blinken spoke to members of the family of Daniel Pearl and their representatives on Friday (afternoon) to assure them that the US government remains committed to pursuing justice and accountability for those involved in Daniel’s kidnapping and murder,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
Daniel Pearl, who worked for the South Asia bureau of The Wall Street Journal, was abducted and then killed in Karachi while investigating a story on Al Qaeda in 2002.
Since then, all US administrations have remained committed to seeking justice for his murder. The Biden administration, which took charge on Jan 20, has also expressed concerns over recent court orders to release multiple suspects of the Pearl case.
On Jan 30, Secretary Blinken telephoned Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and urged him to ensure accountability for some of the suspects who had already been convicted in this case.
The phone call followed a Supreme Court decision to acquit those suspects.
In a statement issued a day before the call, Secretary Blinken also offered to try the chief suspect, Ahmed Omar Sheikh, in the US.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision to acquit those involved in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder and any proposed action to release them,” he said. “We are also prepared to prosecute Sheikh in the United States for his horrific crimes against an American citizen.”
Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2021