14 May, 2021

E.O.M. Daniel Pearl

The Wall Street Journals scribe's brutal murder has increased President Musharraf's headaches

E.O.M. Daniel Pearl
At 3 am on Friday, February 22, a little more than 24 hours before Pakistan was to begin celebrating the festival of Eid-ul-Zoha, the ominous ring of the telephone had me spring out of the bed. The tremulous voice on the line whispered: "It's confirmed, Daniel Pearl is dead." Soon, journalists were scrambling around on the streets of Karachi, newspaper offices stopped press and stories were hurriedly written under the banner headline confirming what most had feared—the Wall Street Journal reporter couldn't possibly have survived the abduction.

Only the incorrigible optimist and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had thought there was still hope for Pearl. Yet, when the newspapers hit the stands early morning, the normally indurate city of Karachi, which has witnessed nearly 6,000 deaths in sectarian violence since 1985, was shocked and numbed at the gruesome murder of Pearl. The response of Shazia Haider, a lady doctor, was typical of the city's denizens: "His murder saddens me and many others, not only because it's inhuman and un-Islamic but also because of the plight of...

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