By: Sheikh Sabir, Associated Press Writer
(AP) An Islamic militant sentenced to death for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has been shifted to another prison, possibly in connection with a failed assassination attempt against Pakistan’s president, a prison official said.
Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British citizen, was flown by helicopter Sunday from the prison at the southern city of Hyderabad where he is on Death Row to Karachi en route to Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Sheikh was likely wanted for questioning about other men who have been arrested in connection with the Dec. 25 attempt to kill Musharraf, when suicide bombers crashed two trucks packed with explosives into his motorcade, the official said.
Musharraf survived, but 16 people were killed. Pakistani authorities have blamed the attack on Jaish-e-Mohammed, a militant group to which Sheikh belonged. More than a dozen suspects from various groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammed, have been arrested.
Sheikh took a volume of translations from the Quran, Islam’s holy book, a diary and letters with him from the Hyderabad prison, the official said.
An Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Sheikh was being shifted but declined to specify the reason.
Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid said he had no information about the transfer.
Sheikh was sentenced to death for the kidnapping of Pearl in January 2002. Three other militants — Fahad Nassem, Salman Saqib and Sheikh Mohammed Adeel — were given life sentences. All four have filed appeals.