Islamabad, Dubai form committee to resolve problems of Pakistani prisoners

“For the first time ever we have decided to form a joint committee to resolve issues relating to prisons and imprisoned Pakistanis in #UAE,” Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, special assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis said in a Twitter post. (Shutterstock)
Updated 29 January 2019

Islamabad, Dubai form committee to resolve problems of Pakistani prisoners

  • Committee aimed to ensure quick repatriation of Pakistanis who have completed jail sentences
  • 2,600 Pakistanis imprisoned in the U.A.E., according to Justice Project Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates have decided to form a committee to streamline problems faced by Pakistani inmates in prisons in the Gulf country and ensure their quick repatriation, Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, special assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, said on Monday.
A delegation from Islamabad led by Bukhari has reportedly reached an understanding with Dubai police chief Maj. Gen. Abdullah Khalifa Al Mari to exchange prisoner information aimed at the quick repatriation of overseas Pakistanis who have completed jail sentences in the U.A.E., officials in Bukhari’s office, as well as the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, told Arab News, requesting anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media on the record. 
“For the first time ever we have decided to form a joint committee to resolve issues relating to prisons and imprisoned Pakistanis in #UAE,” Bukhari said in a Twitter post. 
Officials at the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis declined further details of Bukhari’s meetings, saying his trip would conclude by the end of the month and the outcome would then be shared publicly. The Foreign Office declined to comment. 
There are roughly 1.4 million Pakistanis in the U.A.E. According to the Justice Project Pakistan, some 2,600 Pakistanis are serving time in prison.
Muhammad Arshad Ali, a director at the Overseas Pakistani Foundation, declined to provide details of recent talks held between officials of the two countries but said Pakistan had been engaged in formalizing an agreement with the U.A.E. since October to provide support to nationals charged with petty crimes and misdemeanors.
“Those that have been convicted, we can not interfere in their legal process; only their (Dubai) courts can release prisoners,” Ali said. “But there are cases which require appeal or payment of fines and when officials meet on a state level, through negotiations, those fines are expunged or the (Pakistan) government pays on the prisoner’s behalf.”


Appeal opens against acquittal of Briton convicted in Daniel Pearl killing

Updated 01 December 2020

Appeal opens against acquittal of Briton convicted in Daniel Pearl killing

  • Pearl’s parents and prosecutors lodged an appeal at Pakistan’s Supreme Court in May, putting the release of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh on hold
  • The American journalist was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about Islamist militants

ISLAMABAD: An appeal against the controversial acquittal of a British-born militant convicted of murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl opened at a Pakistani court on Tuesday.
A Karachi court sparked outrage earlier this year when it overturned the 2002 murder conviction of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, and acquitted three other men connected to the case.
Pearl’s parents and prosecutors lodged an appeal at Pakistan’s Supreme Court in May, putting the release of the four men on hold.
“The case has finally opened, it will be decided whether they should be convicted or acquitted. The case is heading to a final verdict,” Faisal Siddiqui, the lawyer representing Pearl’s parents, told AFP.
The appeal, which has been frequently postponed in recent months, will hear opening arguments in the capital Islamabad on Wednesday.
Sheikh had been on death row for Pearl’s murder but was acquitted in April by the Sindh High Court which instead sentenced him to seven years for kidnapping — paving the way for him to walk free after already serving 18 years.
Three co-defendants who were serving life sentences in connection to the case were acquitted.
Pearl was South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about Islamist militants.
A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate nearly a month later.
Pearl’s killing stirred international condemnation of Pakistan’s military government just as it was remaking its image after years of backing the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.