The two - identified as Khalid Khawaja and Aslam Khan Sherani - have ties with militant groups and had even trained fighters for the anti-Soviet operations in Afghanistan, The New York Times reported from Islamabad.
"Khawaja, a former air force officer, is said by Pakistani officials to have once served as a pilot for Osama bin Laden," while Sherani had imparted arms training to anti-Soviet fighters in the early nineties, the daily said.
It said 'experts' in Islamabad were 'not surprised' with the detention of the two persons.
Khawaja, the daily said, also had 'close ties with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani', whom Pearl was to have met but was instead abducted on January 23.
He 'was also among the first people contacted by Pearl to arrange an interview with Gilani', the daily said.
Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf, Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar and other senior functionaries had earlier blamed India for Pearl's kidnapping.
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