Today's Paper

'IA plane hijacker is suspect'

ISLAMABAD, FEB. 15. The Pakistan police today said they had identified Mansur Hasnain - main architect of the December 1999 hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane from Kathmandu to Kandahar - as the main suspect who plotted the kidnapping of the U.S. journalist, Daniel Pearl.

Police are now focussing their attention on Hasnain, a senior member of the banned Islamic outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad, who along with the surrendered militant, Sheikh Omar Saeed, reportedly plotted the kidnapping of Mr. Pearl.

The attention has now turned to Hasnain as Sheikh has confessed that his role ended in luring and kidnapping Mr. Pearl. The entire plot was hatched by Hasnain, who currently holds Mr. Pearl with him, The News said.

Quoting top investigators, the daily said though Sheikh referred to Hasnain as Hyder or Mansur Siddiqi, police have ``discovered'' that he was none other than Mansur Hasnain, who was involved in the IA hijacking. ``Because of that event Sheikh Omar owes his life to Mansur Hasnain alias Hyder alias Imtiaz Siddiqi,'' the investigator said.

- PTI

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