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ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to formally join review proceedings initiated by the Sindh government in the Supreme Court against the order/acquittal passed by the apex court in the Daniel Pearl's murder case. A spokesman for the Attorney

General for Pakistan in a statement said; “For the purpose, the federal government will shortly file appropriate applications before the Supreme Court to be allowed to join as party and further seek review and recall of the order/judgment of acquittal passed in the appeals filed by the Sindh government.”

The Supreme Court on January 28 with a 2-1 majority decision dismissed the appeals of Sindh government and Daniel Pearl’s parents in the murder case of Wall Street Journal (WSJ’s) bureau chief for South Asia and ordered to release the accused -- Ahmed Omer Shaikh, Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, and Shaikh Muhammad Adil.

“The federal government shall file an application for the constitution of the larger bench of the Supreme Court to hear the review petitions. It is further stated that the federal government in cooperation with the provincial government shall continue to undertake all legal steps to bring perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice in accordance with laws of Pakistan,” the statement added

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Muneeb Akhtar will tomorrow (1st February) hear Sindh government's request to grant stay against the Sindh High Court’s (SHC’s) order to release Ahmed Umer Sheikh and others.

The bench on January 28, 2021 had granted leave to appeal, but declined to suspend the SHC order, and said it would pass an order on the stay.

The SHC on 24 December, 2020, passed an order to release the accused in view of a judgment dated April 2, 2020.

However, the Sindh government challenged that order through Advocate General Salman Talibud Din and contended that the accused are “Enemy Alien”.

He had submitted one of the findings of the SHC order is that the respondents (accused) are not “Enemy Alien” under Maintenance of Public Order read with Article 10 of Constitution.

The apex court in its January 25 noted that [Enemy Alien] hitherto unexplored term and issue of first impression.

It had asked the Sindh government to place material before the SHC for justification regarding their claim.

The AG Sindh further submitted before the apex court that the SHC order has barred the provincial government from exercising power which the authorities have under Article 10 of Constitution except with the permission of the High Court.

“As a result the Sindh government has been divested of the power given to the executive under the Constitution,” noted the SC order.

The AG told the court that Umer Sheikh cannot be allowed to engage something against Pakistan on the direction of the enemy country.

He further contended that according to intelligence reports, in 2016, his [Umer Sheikh] accomplices tried to break the jail in order to liberate him.

He further contended that a SIM which had a UK number was recovered from Umer Sheikh in the jail, adding that with that number he remained in contact with terrorists.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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