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Friday, 1 February, 2002, 05:36 GMT
Paper pleads for kidnapped journalist
Police in Karachi
Police still do not know Pearl's whereabouts
The Wall Street Journal has appealed to the kidnappers of one of its journalists to release him unharmed.


A captive or killed Danny cannot speak for you, cannot help you or your cause

Wall Street Journal email
Daniel Pearl is being held by a group called the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty, which has given the US authorities until Friday to meet its demands before they kill him.

The paper's managing editor, Paul Steiger, and Mr Pearl's wife thanked the group in an e-mail for extending the deadline, but said that killing Mr Pearl would do nothing to promote its cause.

Mr Pearl, 38, went missing in the Pakistani city of Karachi on 23 January.

His captors have sent photographs showing him in captivity. In one, a gun is being pointed at his head.

Photo purportedly showing Daniel Pearl held hostage
The militant group issued this photo via e-mail on Saturday
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has ruled out any negotiations with the kidnappers, who are calling for better conditions for detainees held by the US at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Mr Steiger told Mr Pearl's kidnappers that the extra time could be used to "start a true dialogue" and urged them to write back.

He went on: "A freed Danny can explain your cause, and your beliefs, to the world.

"A captive or killed Danny cannot speak for you, cannot help you or your cause."

The group has also criticised the United States for not providing lawyers and trials for Pakistanis detained on terrorism-related charges.

Powell firm

Mr Powell said the kidnappers' demands were unacceptable.

He said various international visitors had confirmed that detainees at Guantanamo Bay were being treated humanely.

The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty sent an e-mail to Pakistani and Western media on Thursday which read: "We will give you one more day."

The BBC's Susannah Price in Islamabad says little is known about Mr Pearl's captors. She says it is not certain whether they exist at all or are just a front for another group or groups.

The former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali - a Muslim convert - has urged the kidnappers to treat Mr Pearl "with compassion and kindness".

Pakistani police say they are making progress in their investigations into the abduction.

They are questioning Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani - an Islamic leader who heads a small militant group, Tanzeem ul-Fuqra, with whom Mr Pearl was trying to arrange an interview when he disappeared.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jon Leyne
"Pakistani police have arrested a muslim cleric Pearl was due to meet"
Marilyn Greene, World Press Freedom Committee
"This kind of move earns the condemnation of the world"
Helen Cooper, colleague of Daniel Pearl
"Killing Danny will achieve nothing for their cause"
Molly Moore, Washington Post
"Reporters are now watching out for each other"
See also:

31 Jan 02 | South Asia
Profile: Journalist Daniel Pearl
29 Jan 02 | South Asia
US concern over missing journalist
28 Jan 02 | South Asia
Militants kidnap US journalist
27 Jan 02 | South Asia
Search for US journalist in Pakistan
27 Jan 02 | Americas
No POW rights for Cuba prisoners
13 Jan 02 | South Asia
Pakistan's militant Islamic groups
12 Jan 02 | South Asia
Pakistan to regulate religious schools
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