Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has disclosed that Omar Sheikh, who kidnapped and murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl and is now facing death penalty, was actually the British secret Agency MI6’s agent and had executed certain missions on their behest before coming to Pakistan and visiting Afghanistan to meet Osama and Mullah Omar.
General Musharraf’s book has also given a new twist to the whole drama of kidnapping and murder of American journalist as many believe here British national Omar Sheikh might use Musharraf’s memoir to plea his innocence after, quite surprisingly, Musharraf tried to give a clean chit to Omar despite his role in kidnapping which is punishable with death in Pakistan.
It has been reported that General Musharraf has written in his book that while Omar Sheikh was at the London School of Economics (LSE), he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI6, which persuaded him to take an active part in demonstrations against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and even sent him to Kosovo to join the jihad.
At some point, he probably became a rogue or double agent.
The local media is discussing the possibility that Omar would use evidence from President Musharraf’s memoirs to save himself from the hangman.
General Musharraf appeared to exonerate Omar Sheikh in his book In the Line of Fire.
Sheikh, 32, who was brought up in Wanstead, east London, has been on death row since 2003 after being convicted of orchestrating the kidnap and murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter.
The Times, which is carrying extracts of Musharraf autobiography has reported that General Musharraf appears to have changed his mind about the Briton’s guilt, saying he now believes that the man who beheaded the American hostage was Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
The Times has reported that Rai Bashir, Sheikh’s lawyer, said that he intended to use the memoir to force a new appeal hearing.
The Times report said General Musharraf appears to contradict the original claim that the British militant callously planned Pearl’s murder, saying: “Only later did I realise that Omar Sheikh had panicked because the situation had spiralled out of his control.”
Bashir said: “After reading the book, if I feel necessary, I will quote the book in my arguments in favour of my client. It can be used as evidence.” Three other men jailed for life for their part in the crime have lodged appeals. – Internews