[Statement from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists – issued February 2, 2002]
PFUJ’s concern over kidnap of newsman
By Our Reporter
LAHORE, Feb 3: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed grave concern over the disappearance and fate of American journalist Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal and urged the government to trace him and step up its efforts to arrest his kidnappers as early as possible.
In a statement issued here on Saturday, PFUJ president I.H. Raashed said that the disappearance of a foreign journalist was a unique incident as never before such an incident had happened in 55 years history of Pakistan where foreign correspondents, both who were stationed and had their offices in Pakistan and those who come on special assignments from foreign countries, had full freedom to perform their duties without any restriction on their movement and on transmission of their dispatches to their respective newspapers and news agencies.
He said that recently a large number of foreign journalists had come to Pakistan from all over the world to cover war against terrorism in Afghanistan and none of them had any complaint. However, some of them suffered and even lost their lives in Afghanistan but not in Pakistan where they had full freedom to work.
He said that the disappearance of the American journalist and later reports about his fate had caused a grave concern among the entire journalistic community of Pakistan which shared its anxiety with the international community of journalists in general and US journalists in particular. He urged the Pakistan government and the provincial governments to make all-out efforts to recover the missing foreign journalist and award exemplary punishment to his kidnappers.
[Statement from the president of the Hazara Union of Journalists – issued February 1, 2002]
I, being the president of Hazara Union of Journalists and Secretary General, Press Club, Abbottabad, Pakistan, appeal to the abductors/captors of Daniel Pearl to release the WSJ reporter unconditionally and immediately. Islam does not permit or cordone such acts. Rather it teaches us to show hospitality to even one’s enemies let alone one’s guest. Mr. Pearl was a
guest in Pakistan and his captors must treat him as such and release him without any delay.
Sardar Abrar Rashid
Press Club, Abbottabad
[Statement from the Karachi Union of Journalists – Issued January 31, 2002]
In a statement issued on January 31, the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) called on the kidnappers of Daniel Pearl, South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journalist, “to release him immediately on humanitarian grounds.” The statement, signed by KUJ President Sarfaz Ahmed and General Secretary Tahir Najmi, was sent to major Pakistani news media.
The KUJ announced that it would “mobilize public support in order to increase pressure on the government to speed up its efforts aimed at the safe return of this American journalist.” The KUJ further asked Pakistani authorities to “make contact with all those individuals and groups who could possibly play a role in efforts seeking an end to the continuing ordeal” of Daniel Pearl.
[International journalists’ petition for the release of WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl]
We, the undersigned, are colleagues of Daniel Pearl, who has become a captive while reporting for The Wall Street Journal in Pakistan.
Like Daniel himself, we are journalists. As he used to, we report on events in the Middle East. We are Americans, Arabs, and others, who have spent many years, in some cases lifetimes, in the Arab part of the Islamic world.
We would like to state without hesitation that Daniel is a professional journalist of the highest standard. During his own assignment covering the Arab part of the Muslim world, he worked with honesty, courage, and independence of mind to write the truth about the conflicts and problems of the region as he saw it. Like the rest of us, he did his best to convey the opinions and emotions of the people of the region.
We are dismayed by, and reject, accusations that Daniel is employed in any capacity other than as a professional journalist. He is in no way responsible for any actions or opinions other than his own. We affirm the rights of journalists everywhere–be they Western, Arab, Muslim, or any other nationality and religion–to perform their vital tasks without being subject to accusations and threats.
Daniel’s safe release will enable you to realize this goal.
Ahmed Abdelmalik, Al Sharq, Doha
Mohammed al Ali, Al Jazeera, Doha
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, London
Ibrahim al Amin, As Safir, Beirut
Deborah Amos, ABC News
John Ward Anderson, Washington Post, Istanbul Terry Anderson, New York
Fouzi al Asmar, Washington DC
Abdul Bari Atwan, Al Quds Al Arabi, London
Mehmet Ali Birand, CNN Turk, Istanbul
Bill Blakemore, ABC News, New York
Tom Brokaw, NBC News, New York
Cengiz Candar, Yeni Safak, Istanbul
John K. Cooley, Athens
Youssef Darwish, Al Raya, Doha
Raghida Dergham, Al Hayat, New York
Christopher Dickey, Newsweek, Paris
James M. Dorsey, The Wall Street Journal, Riyadh
Didier François, Liberation.
Charles Glass, London
Sami Haddad, Al Jazeera, London
Safa Haeri, Editor, Iran Press Service, Paris
Assad Haydar, Al Moustaqbal, Paris
Ibrahim Helal, Al Jazeera, Doha
David Hirst, The Guardian, Cyprus
Fehmi Howeidi, Al Ahram, Cairo
Ali Jaber, Future TV, Beirut
Peter Jennings, ABC News, New York
Hisham Kassem, Cairo Times, Cairo
Khairallah Khairallah, London
Jamal Khashoggi, Arab News, Jeddah
Jihad al Khazen, Al Hayat, London
Peretz Kidron, Jerusalem
Sami Kleib, As Safir, Paris
Fehmi Koru, Yeni Safak, Istanbul
Mohammed Krishene, Al Jazeera, Doha
Kamal Eddin Labidi, Cairo Times, Cairo
John Lancaster, The Washington Post, Washington DC
Gill Lusk, Deputy Editor, Africa Confidential
Khaled al-Maeena, Arab News, Jeddah
Scott MacLeod, Time Magazine, Cairo
Neil MacFarquhar, The New York Times
Hisham Milhem, As Safir, Washington DC
Hafez al-Mirazi, Al Jazeera, Washington DC
Ray Moseley, Chicago Tribune, London
Jamil Mroue, Daily Star, Beirut
Salama al-Nemaat, Al Hayat & Radio Monte Carlo, Amman
Jonathan Randal, Paris
Abdulrahman al-Rashed, Ash Sharq Al Awsat, London
Dan Rather, CBS News, New York
Eric Rouleau, Paris
Salama Ahmed Salama, Al Ahram, Cairo
Howard Schneider, The Washington Post, Cairo
Charles Sennott, Boston Globe, London
Hani Shukrallah, Al Ahram Weekly, Cairo
Gebran Tueni, An Nahar, Beirut
Bill Tuohy, London
Mike Wallace, CBS News, New York
John Ward Anderson, Washington Post, Istanbul