Washington DC [US], January 30 (ANI): US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday spoke with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi and discussed ways to ensure accountability for convicted terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh in the American journalist Daniel Pearl's murder case.
"Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Qureshi discussed how to ensure accountability for convicted terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and others responsible for the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl," State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
During the phone call, Secretary Blinken reinforced US concern about the Pakistani Supreme Court ruling and potential release of these prisoners.
"In addition, the Secretary and the Foreign Minister discussed the importance of continued US-Pakistan cooperation on the Afghan peace process, support for regional stability, and the potential to expand our trade and commercial ties," Ned Price added.
This statement comes a day after Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the release of the Omar Sheikh convicted in 2002 of orchestrating the abduction and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
Interestingly, the State Department readout on the talks between Blinken and Qureshi differed with that of the release put out by the Pakistan Foreign Office (PFO). While Washington focused on Daniel Pearl's murder case, Islamabad focused on the comprehensive partnership with the US.
"The Foreign Minister congratulated Secretary Blinken on assuming his office. He underscored Pakistan's commitment to forge a comprehensive partnership with the United States based on the convergence of interests on a whole range of issues," the PFO said in a statement.
"In the context of recent developments in the Daniel Pearl case, the Foreign Minister underscored that it was important and in the mutual interest that justice is served through legal means. The Foreign Minister highlighted the steps being taken in this regard," the statement added.
The Pakistani foreign office further said Foreign Minister Qureshi and Secretary Blinken agreed to remain engaged and work together on advancing the two countries' bilateral agenda and promoting common interests in the region and beyond. (ANI)