Saturday, February 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Scribe’s kidnappers seek $2m

Karachi, February 1
Kidnappers holding missing US journalist Daniel Pearl today demanded $ 2 million within 36 hours for his safe release, a police officer said.

The anonymous call late today to the US Consulate in Karachi, also demanded the release of the former Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef, a senior police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

There was no one available at the Consulate to confirm the details.

ISLAMABAD: Meanwhile, the USA has called for an unconditional release of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and ruled out negotiations with his kidnappers, saying that the demands of the Pakistani group holding him hostage could not be met.

BERLIN: Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar on Friday said that, according to mobile phone records, the chief suspect in the kidnapping of US reporter Daniel Pearl had been in contact with three Indian Government officials.

The alleged kidnapper “had made a number of foreign calls and included among the numbers that he had called in India were numbers of persons who occupied certain important positions inside the Indian Government,” Mr Sattar told a news conference in Berlin.

“Included in this list are the numbers of three prominent Indian personalities.”

Mr Sattar, after talks with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, said: “That is all we know. We are not alleging that this person was working in complicity with somebody in India. But I think this fact should be known to all persons interested.”

Meanwhile, a report from India said India today dared Pakistan to disclose names of Indian officials, who it claimed had maintained telephonic links with the abductors of Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal.

“Let them (Pakistan) give names” of the officials, a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) commented on Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar’s allegation that there is an Indian link in the kidnapping.

She said that Pakistan had not officially communicated on this.

The Indian Government had already submitted list of 20 criminals to Pakistan for extradition. However that country had so far refused to handover these criminals, who are involved in Mumbai bomb blasts and other heinous crimes. AgenciesBack

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