Islamabad [Pakistan], February 2 (ANI): Citing tremendous global implication and grave emergency as well as serious consequences, the top government lawyer on Monday requested the Supreme Court to suspend December 24, 2020, Sindh High Court (SHC) order in the murder of Wall Street Journal's South Asia bureau chief Daniel Pearl, reported Dawn.
The SHC in its December 24 order held that the June 29, 2020 notification placing all the accused on the Fourth Schedule of Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 pursuant to Section 11-EE was without lawful authority, adding that none of the accused were "enemy aliens" as contemplated under Article 10(9) of the Constitution and as such their detention under this provision was found to be illegal and without lawful, reported Dawn.
The High Court had directed that all the accused, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib and Sheikh Muhammad Adil, be released from jail forthwith on the receipt of this order unless they were wanted in any other custody case.
Attorney General (AG) Khalid Jawed Khan appeared before a three-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, to highlight that the high court had barred the federal government from issuing any preventive detention order when there was a mandatory requirement to issue notice and hear the AG before issuing such orders, reported Dawn.
The Supreme Court, however, preferred to maintain the status quo for a day instead of granting any stay against the SHC order in which the federal and provincial governments were directed not to issue any preventive detention order without prior permission of the high court.
Daniel Pearl was abducted and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002 while he was investigating links between Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Al-Qaeda.
The January 28 order of the Pakistan Supreme Court of acquittal of all four accused in Pearl's murder and their release from jail amply underlines that Pakistan cannot be expected to do the right thing on terror. (ANI)