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ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government informed the Supreme Court that Ahmed Umer Saeed Sheikh, prime accused in the Daniel Pearl’s murder, will be kept in Kot Lakhpat Jail’s premises after his shifting from Karachi to Lahore.

A three-member judge bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, on Thursday, heard the applications of the federal and the Sindh governments against the Sindh High Court (SHC)’s judgment dated December 21 and 24, 2020.

A three-member judge bench of the SC, headed by Justice Mushir Alam, on January 28 with a 2-1 majority decision dismissed the appeals of Sindh government and Daniel Pearl’s parents, and ordered to release the accused - Ahmed Omer Shaikh, Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, and Shaikh Muhammad Adil.

The bench on March 2, 2021 had directed the advocate general Punjab to obtain instruction from the provincial government as to the place and time when the detenue (Ahmed Umer) may be shifted to Lahore where his family members reside.

Additional Advocate General Faisal Fareed Chaudhry refuted the news that Umer Sheikh has been moved to the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) cell in Chung, Lahore, due to security concerns.

He said the provincial government decided to keep Ahmed Umer in the Kot Lakpat jail’s premises.

The remaining accused be kept in Karachi as per its order dated February 2, 2021.

The Supreme Court, on 2nd February, ordered the Sindh government to shift Ahmed Omer Sheikh and other detainees from Karachi jail to the rest houses.

The court said in its order that the families of the detainees were provided comfortable accommodation till the time they were kept in the rest houses, so they could meet with them from 9am to 5pm in a peaceful environment.

The phone and internet services will not be available to the accused.

During the proceedings, the court asked the AAG Punjab to shift Ahmed Umer in a rest house in Lahore.

Faisal Fareed replied that if the accused was kept in a rest house then the Punjab government would have to deploy heavy security.

He said, therefore, the arrangements had been made to keep him in Kot Lakhpat jail’s premises.

Defence counsel Mehmood A Sheikh’s associate informed that Sheikh was not well as he had some orthopaedic issue.

He also informed that Adil Sheikh, one of the accused in the Daniel Pearl case was also not well.

The court directed that medical facilities be provided to Adil. The case was adjourned for two weeks.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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