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Sep 26, 2006 at 11:03pm IST

Lawyer may use Mush book in Pearl case

Karachi: The lawyer of British-born terrorist Saeed Sheikh Umar, who was awarded the death penalty for the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, has said he could use President Pervez Musharraf's book to defend his client in the court.

"Musharraf's book apparently contains a chapter which indicates that my client was not involved in the actual killing of Pearl. If required I can use it to defend my client in court," Umer's lawyer, Rai Bashir, said.

Umar was sentenced to death for the 2002 killing of the Wall Street Journal reporter.

DEFENDING TERROR: The book contains a chapter that says Umar was not responsible for killing Pearl.

Three co-accused were given life in prison, and all four have filed appeals.

The chapter about Pearl in Musharraf's book In the Line of Fire is not the only one courting controversy.

Analysts point out that his comments on Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan, the aftermath of the 9/11 incident and on relations with India were also bound to evoke mixed reactions.

"It is hard to understand why he (Musharraf) would write all this now. After all he is the President and Army chief at this moment. Normally memoirs are written after one retires. But perhaps it is another sign of his blunt and strong personalty," analyst Sami Memon said.

According to booksellers, the book is drawing enthususatic response from readers in the cosmopolitan city of Karachi.

"The demand for the book is something we have not experienced for a long, long time in this city where very few people even among the educated retain reading habits and are more prone to watching television or surfing the Internet," said the owner of one of Karachi's biggest bookshops, Paramount.