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Saturday, 2 February, 2002, 08:22 GMT
Graveyard hunt for US reporter
Police officers search the Gora cemetery, a Christian graveyard, for missing journalist Daniel Pearl
The search went on throughout the night
Squads of Pakistani police have scoured every cemetery in the city of Karachi in the hunt for the kidnapped American journalist, Daniel Pearl.

The operation, involving several hundred graveyards, followed a report that Mr Pearl had been killed and his body left in a cemetery. Nothing was found.


As much as two wrongs don't make a right, Daniel Pearl's kidnapping is unlikely to help the innocent victims of the Afghan conflict

Imran Khan
There have been conflicting reports about the fate of Mr Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter.

He was abducted in Karachi a week ago by a group demanding better conditions for al-Qaeda suspects in American custody.

The kidnappers also called for the return of any Pakistani nationals among them to face trial in Pakistan, and the release of the former Taleban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salam Zaeef.

Pakistani politician and former international cricketer Imran Khan has urged Mr Pearl's kidnappers to release him.

Daniel Pearl
Daniel Pearl in captivity
Mr Khan said he opposed the indiscriminate use of force and the mistreatment of prisoners-of-war.

But he said Mr Pearl's abduction was "unlikely to help the innocent victims of the Afghan conflict."

US President George W Bush expressed serious concern on Friday about the journalist's fate after several news organisations received an e-mail saying Mr Pearl had been killed.

Ransom report

Another unconfirmed report said Mr Pearl's kidnappers were demanding a ransom of $2m for his release.

A deadline apparently set by Mr Pearl's kidnappers for their demands to be met expired on Friday.

Mr Bush said every effort was being made to find Mr Pearl.

Abdul Salaam Zaeef
The kidnappers also demanded Zaeef's release
"We're working with the Pakistani Government to chase down any leads possible - for example we're trying to follow the trail of the e-mails that have been sent, with the sole purpose of saving this man, of finding him and rescuing him," he said.

BBC Islamabad correspondent Susannah Price says there is still no sign of any concrete progress in Pakistan's attempts to trace the journalist.

After Mr Pearl's abduction, a group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty sent two e-mails to the Wall Street Journal accusing him of being a spy - which the newspaper strongly denied.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Susannah Price
"There's still no sign of the journalist"
American consulate spokesman Lonnie Kelley
"The police have concluded their search"
Former head of Pakistan Army Intelligence Hamid Gul
"Pakistani militant organisations are not known to take hostages"
See also:

29 Jan 02 | South Asia
US concern over missing journalist
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