August 9, 2005

Pakistani militant suspected of Pearl link in court

KARACHI (Reuters) - A Pakistani militant suspected of
having a link to the 2002 kidnapping and murder of U.S.
reporter Daniel Pearl was brought before a court on Tuesday and
ordered detained in connection with a separate case, police

A civil court in the city of Karachi allowed police to hold
Mohammad Hashim Qadir for investigation for five days in
connection with the killing of a man on June 5. Police said he
would also be charged in connection with the Pearl case.

"We have already taken judicial custody of him in another
murder case and we will also be booking him in the Daniel Pearl
murder case," a senior police official told Reuters.

Pearl, 38, was kidnapped in Karachi January 2002 while
researching a story on Islamist 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.

Security officials believe Qadir, who was arrested last
month in the central province of Punjab, set up a meeting
between Pearl and the militants who kidnapped and killed him.

Investigators say Qadir, also known as Arif, 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, implicated too in assassination plots against
President Pervez Musharraf, was killed by security forces in

He had been identified as a conspirator in the Pearl case
and security officials said he had been a link between local
militants and al Qaeda planner Abu Faraj Farj al Liby, who was
captured in Pakistan in May.

Investigators say Qadir was one of seven Islamist militants
being sought in connection with Pearl's murder.

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.