14 May, 2021

Shaky Evidence

Omar's arrest is no end of the trail, it still doesn't tell us if Pearl's dead or alive

Ravi Bhatia/Indian Express
Shaky Evidence
You expected him to look defeated and intimidated. You thought he would at least appear confused and crestfallen. You were sure he was bound to turn scarlet in embarrassment. You had heard so much about his cold ruthlessness, and yet you believed even the committed suffer from human weaknesses. But when Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, dressed in a Pathan suit, and ringed by gun-toting policemen wearing bullet-proof vests, stepped into the anti-terrorist court in Karachi on February 14, he had all the poise you expect of an lse (London School of Economics) graduate attending a tough tutorial. And as he started to speak to the court in English, soft and fluent, so typical of the westernised upper classes of Pakistan, you couldn't help thinking that here was one man in command of the situation.

But what Omar told the court sent a frisson of fear and disappointment among the assembled journalists and officials. This was the moment Karachi—and the world—had been waiting for; this was possibly the chance to know where the kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was. And...

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