Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

02 June 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.33

Return of the Daniel Pearl case: Supreme Court asks the Sindh government to file a complete report

Return of the Daniel Pearl case: Supreme Court asks the Sindh government to file a complete report COVID related developments, locust update

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus 

Return of the Daniel Pearl case:  Supreme Court asks the Sindh government to file a complete report

 The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam, on 1 June, asked the Sindh government to submit a complete report (with all evidence) and the appeal that challenged the Sindh High Court’s 2 April verdict of overturning Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh and three others’ conviction for the kidnapping and murdering of Daniel Pearl in 2002. The court also asked senior counsel Faisal Siddiqui, representing Daniel’s parents – Ruth and Judea Pearl — to prepare a complete case history record. Justice Ahmed said the State had to prove through evidence that Daniel Pearl was abducted, the devised conspiracy behind the same and evidence of his murder by the accused. (“Sindh govt told to file complete report with appeal in Pearl case,” Dawn, 2 June 2020, https://www.dawn.com/news/1560672/sindh-govt-told-to-file-complete-report-with-appeal-in-pearl-case)

On 2 April 2020, the SHC in a landmark judgment overturned the verdict against the four accused persons citing insufficient evidence. (“Pakistan court overturns conviction in Daniel Pearl killing,” Al Jazeera, 2 April 2020, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/pakistan-court-overturns-conviction-killing-daniel-pearl-200402065653842.html) On 22 April, the Sindh government moved the Supreme Court, through an appeal by Sindh Prosecutor General Dr. Fiaz Shah, saying ‘last seen evidence’, ‘impersonation’ and ‘identification parade’ had been proved against the accused. (“Sindh govt challenges high court verdict in Daniel Pearl case,” Dawn, 23 April 2020, https://www.dawn.com/news/1551526)

On 2 May, Ruth and Judea Pearl, the parents of Daniel Pearl, challenged the SHC verdict by appealing to the Supreme Court. (“Pearl’s parents also challenge in SC high court verdict,” Dawn, 3 May 2020, https://www.dawn.com/news/1554138) On 6 May, Ruth and Judea appealed to the masses in Pakistan through a touching note published in Dawn wherein they argued that the SHC verdict while sending the wrong message to terrorists and violent extremists, jeopardized the safety of citizens; reminded Pakistan of global attention; and warned the State’s adjudication to practice caution while dispensing justice. (“Why we are seeking justice for our son, Daniel Pearl,” Dawn, 6 May 2020, https://www.dawn.com/news/1554930)

Presently the Supreme Court is seized with two independent appeals by Daniel Pearl’s parents and three appeals by the Sindh government against the acquittal of Omer Shaikh, Fahad Nasim, Syed Salman Saqib, and Sheikh Muhammad Adil. The court will resume hearing in October.

Image Source: The News

In Brief

Complete lockdown to be enforced on Saturdays and Sundays: NCC
The National Coordination Committee has allowed for the opening up of businesses for five days until 7 pm with the enforcement of SOPs and complete lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays. The committee which was chaired by PM Imran Khan also formulated a list of business and commercial activities that will be allowed to resume their activities and another negative list with of business that would remain suspended. Further, the PM the nation to strictly follow the SOPs that have been put in place. (“Complete lockdown on Saturdays, Sundays,” The News International, 2 June 2020)

Prime Minister decides to ease restrictions further and reopen tourism
The National Coordination Committee meeting was held yesterday. PM addressed the issues of informal workers losing jobs, and adverse economic condition that cannot be dealt with lockdown hence has decided to ease the restrictions under strict SOP guidelines. He has also planned to reopen the tourism industry, which can also help in the recovery of the economy and for the overseas Pakistani’s to return home. (Syed Irfan Raza, “Imran lifts restrictions on tourism industry,” Dawn, 2 June 2020)

WHO asks the government to ensure the essential services to other ailments are not disrupted
The WHO has released a report on a study that was conducted in Pakistan and other countries in May. It stated that there has been a severe cutdown in the supply of medicines and treatment for non-communicable diseases (NDC). As many people with ailments such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems are more prone to contract the coronavirus. The casual reasons for cutdown are due to diversion of medical workers to COVID- 19 camps, disturbance in public transport, and cancelling of planned treatments. Hence the pandemic has risked the survival of people with NDC’s. (Ikram Junaidi, “Covidiots in courtroom irk chief justice,” Dawn, 2 June 2020)

Inflation rate drops to 8.2 per cent
Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed an 8.2 per cent drop in inflation in May as a result of the decline in prices of petroleum products and improvement in the supply of essential food items dragged the overall inflation down to a single digit. A drop in rates of few vegetables, pulses and fruits was also seen in May, however, food inflation is likely to double-digit and increase in May despite a drop in overall price levels. The twelve-month low inflation was noted in May since the calculation methodology was changed in 2019. (Mubarak Zeb Khan, “Inflation drops to 8.2pc in May,” Dawn, 2 June 2020)

Some retired and serving pilots raise eyebrows about CAA’s role in light of communication between the pilot and air traffic controller

The inefficiency to communicate to the pilot by the Civil Aviation Authority in the time of emergency has raised questions among the pilots. They state that an alternative plan could have been suggested by the air traffic control before the crash. A senior air traffic controller has said to Dawn that the aircraft was kept with ‘approach controllers’ all the time as per the procedure. “The pilot did not call tower frequency at any time during the flight and was in contact with the ATC till he crashed,”
(Zulqernain Tahir, “Experts battle for their teams amid PIA crash probe,” Dawn, 2 June 2020)

Investigation team set to look into lynching incident
Additional Chief Secretary of Balochistan announced the formation of an eight-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) under the Anti-Terrorism Act,1997. This team will inspect the incident that took place in Hazara Town and will submit a report to the court in 15 days. (“JIT formed to investigate Balochistan lynching incident,” Dawn, 2 June 2020)

Supreme Court summons dam fund’s foreign remittances record
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reached out to the State Bank of Pakistan for details regarding money sent from abroad for the dam fund. A five-member bench, led by Chief Justice heard the case on first June. The chief justice has stated that the court would not allow any injustice in the dam affair and that the land issue for the dams should be resolved. State Bank officials stated that if the money for the dams was invested in the stock exchange, there would be a danger of loss in expectation of a big profit. They stated that where the dams money has been invested currently would give a reasonable profit as well as be secure. (“Dam Fund: Supreme Court summons foreign remittances record,” The News International, 2 June 2020)

Rains likely to worsen locust swarms: FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has put out a warning stating that the number of locusts could grow twenty-fold in the upcoming monsoon season in South Asia unless adequate measures are taken to address the issue. Swarms of the desert locust, which originated in Africa, have moved into West Asia, attacking vegetation in parts of Iran and Pakistan and are now threatening crops in India. Joint teams of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan Army, provincial agricultural departments along with the National Disaster Management Authority have taken both conventional and unconventional measures to control the locust. (Amin Ahmed, “Rains to aggravate locust swarms: Food and Agriculture Organisation,” Dawn, 2 June 2020)

Qatar stops investments to three major airports of Pakistan
The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has decided to stop investing in Pakistan airports because of the deviation by the authorities from the earlier model formulated in 2017 which gave transferred ownership of the three airports to Qatar. Authorities in Pakistan are concerned over this matter and now desire to outsource individual services like parking services, tuck shop services, restaurant services, so that they could retain operational control. However, the QIA has shown no interest in the government’s offer of outsourcing the commercial activities of the three airports. (Khalid Mustafa, “Qatar refuses to invest in Pakistan’s three major airports,” The News International, 2 June 2020)

Foreign Office responds to the expelling of Pakistani officials by India
The two officials of Pakistan’s High Commission were expelled under allegation in attempting to collect documents relating to India’s national security. Foreign Office (FO) in Pakistan, has rejected as “false and unsubstantiated”. It later assembled the Indian officer and condemned that decision of India on expulsion. (Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Indian govt’s policies threatening peace in S. Asia: PM Imran,” Dawn, 2 June 2020)


"First of all, the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl must be proved...Evidence must prove that the abductee was Daniel Pearl. The Sindh government claims that a conspiracy was hatched in Rawalpindi. What conspiracy took place in Rawalpindi must also be proved with evidence."

- Justice Manzoor Malik,
 ( Supreme Court on rejecting the plea by the Sindh government to suspend an earlier judgement by the Sindh High Court on the release and acquittal of accused in the Pearl murder case, The Express Tribune)


In Focus and In Brief sections are prepared by Lakshmi V Menon, Abigail Miriam Fernandez, A Padmashree and P Harini Sha.

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