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February 4, 2002
1245 IST

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Pak to extradite suspect in Pearl kidnapping case to US: Report

K J M Varma in Islamabad

In a significant move, Pakistan has decided to extradite Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani, a suspect in the kidnapping of American journalist Daniel Pearl, to the United States, a media report in Islamabad said on Monday.

The decision to extradite him to US is quite significant as Gilani, who was being bandied as a prime suspect in Pearl's abduction despite his strong denials as well as his inability to provide any tangible leads to locate the Wall Street Journal correspondent, has officially been alleged to have called top Indian officials before the kidnapping.

He would be extradited as American authorities have given proof of Gilani having received $400,000 from certain unnamed organisations in the US, The Nation newspaper said.

There was no official reaction to the report in Islamabad.

Gilani's name shot into prominence after Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar alleged three days ago at the security conference at Munich that Gilani was found to have called three important Indian officials before the kidnapping.

The allegations came even though Gilani denied any link to the kidnapping and failed to provide any information to the police on Pearl's whereabouts. He is reported to have surrendered four days ago to the police in Rawalpindi.

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