Safety record of hostage Pearl

Pearl: captured by Pakistani group

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, in captivity in Pakistan, took the lead among the paper’s overseas staff in drawing up safety guidelines for reporters and encouraged colleagues to check in repeatedly.

It can hardly be more ironic then that Pearl, with the WSJ for 12 years and working from the Bombay bureau, was this week pictured in newspapers and on TV manacled and with a gun to his head, as he was held hostage by the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty.

WSJ managing editor Paul Steiger immediately e-mailed Pearl’s captors, using the address contained with the photographs, making clear Pearl is a long-time WSJ reporter and with no US Government connections.

In exchange for Pearl, his captors want the release of Pakistanis held in Cuba by the US and for them to be returned to Pakistan for trial. They also want the return of the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan now held by the US in Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell has told Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf he has a strong interest in seeing the Pearl case resolved and the president assured Powell "the Pakistani Government is making every effort to secure his freedom".

Reuters reported this week that Pakistani investigators had made progress in their search for Pearl.

By Jean Morgan

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