Islamabad: Terror mastermind Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, one of four militants convicted for the kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl, has been transferred from a jail in Karachi to Hyderabad central prison for security reasons.

Ghulam Qadir Thebo, the Inspector General of prisons in Sindh province, said another convict in the case, Sheikh Adil, is being shifted from Hyderabad to a Karachi prison under the directives of the Sindh High Court.

Sheikh is a British national of Pakistani heritage who was freed by India with two other terrorists in exchange for passengers of an Indian Airlines flight hijacked from
Kandahar in 1999.

He was shifted to Karachi from Hyderabad prison after he used a cell phone that was recovered by jail authorities.

For security reasons, the prison administration does not want to keep all convicts in Daniel Pearl case at one place, Thebo told.

Sheikh was sent to Karachi after conditions in the Hyderabad prison went out of control of the former administration, he said.

"Now Hyderabad central prison is much better, therefore, we have shifted him there," he said.

Sheikh Adil is being sent to Karachi in line with the High Court's directive.

"We can't keep all the convicts at one place even otherwise from security point of view. So we have to segregate them as well and since we are satisfied with Hyderabad jail's present conditions, we decided to send Sheikh back to the same
jail where he was earlier lodged and faced trial," Thebo said.

Ashiq Memon, another senior prison official, said, "Sufficient security had been put in place at the Hyderabad jail and the situation there was totally under control as far as previous disturbances in the jail are concerned."
   
Sheikh was awarded capital punishment in the Daniel Pearl case in July 2002 by an anti-terrorism court.

The co-accused Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil and Salman Saqib were sentenced to life imprisonment. Their appeals against the sentences are pending in the High Court.


(Agencies)