Published: Jan 29, 2021, 08.24 AM(IST)
Slamming the Pakistani court’s decision to acquit journalist Daniel Pearl’s killer Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, Joe Biden’s administration has said it was “outraged” Thursday after Pakistan’s top court upheld the acquittal and ordered the release of the terrorist convicted of masterminding the 2002 beheading of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
The US is “outraged by the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision,” Biden’s chief spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, underscoring the uneasy alliance between Washington and Islamabad, which has fractured many times over Islamist militancy.
She called the ruling “an affront to terrorism victims everywhere” and demanded the Pakistani government “review its legal options.”
The White House statement came after Pakistan’s Supreme Court upheld the acquittal of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had been convicted of masterminding the brutal murder of Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, by jihadists.
Pearl’s killing — which was filmed — caused international shock and outrage.
State Secretary Antony Blinken said that Washington is ready to prosecute Sheikh in the United States for his horrific crimes against an American citizen.
“We expect the Pakistani government to expeditiously review its legal options to ensure justice is served. We take note of the Attorney General’s statement that he intends to seek review and recall of the decision. We are also prepared to prosecute Sheikh in the United States for his horrific crimes against an American citizen,” US State Department release quoted Blinken.
Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh was indicted in the United States in 2002 for hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking, resulting in the murder of Pearl, the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, as well as the 1994 kidnapping of another United States citizen in India,” the statement added.