Though reasoned guess or analysis suggested from the start that Daniel kidnappers would not let him walk free, the news of his ‘butchery’ by the jehadis makes the stomach turn. All those who knew him vouch for the fact that the Mumbai-based Wall Street Journal correspondent was a cautious and meticulous journalist with cosmopolitan sensibilities, besides being a kind-hearted human being.
To charge him with being a CIA or Mossad agent, as his abductors did, was palpably a low, age-old trick to fool public opinion and present themselves as guardians of the faith.
It is more than apparent that Pearl was kidnapped because he was on to a trail that led up to people in high places and exposed their links with the jehad machine. He was killed because he had come to know too much while looking for a ‘story’. Such knowledge could prove to be dynamite for the Musharraf dictatorship. Pearl being Jewish or American is beside the point. Initially, Islamabad made contradictory noises, even going to the ridiculous extent of blaming
India for the kidnapping. Now Pervez Musharraf has issued a sympathetic statement, not unlike what he did when the terrorists tried to bomb the state assembly in Srinagar and Parliament in Delhi. Subsequent events made it clear these were no more than pro forma noises.
Whether General Musharraf has genuinely switched sides and turned against the Islamic terrorists is hard to say. But it is becoming increasingly clear that he is not quite in control and, therefore, not really in a position to fulfil his promises to the Americans. The onus is now on the US which needs to ascertain how reliable an ally against international terrorism General Musharraf can be.
Editorial of Indian Newspaper HidustanTimes