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Pakistan charges militant in Daniel Pearl case

Pakistani police have charged a militant over the 2002 kidnapping and murder of American reporter Daniel Pearl, officials said Wednesday.
/ Source: Reuters

Pakistani police have charged a militant over the 2002 kidnapping and murder of American reporter Daniel Pearl, officials said on Wednesday.

Mohammad Hashim Qadir was arrested last month in the central province of Punjab and he was later handed over to Karachi police for investigations.

Intelligence officials have said Qadir, also known as Arif, had set up a meeting between the Wall Street Journal reporter and his kidnappers.

Investigating police officer Gul Hameed Samoo said Qadir had been formally arrested in Pearl case on Monday.

“We will produce him before a judge today (Wednesday) and will seek to obtain a judicial remand for further investigations about his role in the Pearl case,” Samoo told Reuters.

Pearl, 38, was kidnapped in Karachi January 2002 while researching a story on Islamic militants. He was later killed.

Four people have been convicted in connection with his murder, including British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was sentenced to death in 2002 for masterminding the murder. He is in jail awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Investigators say Qadir had admitted taking instructions from Omar Sheikh and another militant, Amjad Hussain Farooqi, who is also believed to have played a prominent role in the plot to murder the journalist.

Farooqi, also implicated in assassination plots against President Pervez Musharraf, was killed by security forces in September.

Samoo said the court would also decide where Qadir’s trial would be held.

In a book about her husband, Pearl’s widow, Mariane, described Qadir as a spokesman for Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (Movement for Holy Warriors), a militant group fighting Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.