Family of slain US journalist Daniel Pearl hails Pakistani arrest

NEW YORK (AFP) - The family of slain US journalist Daniel Pearl welcomed the arrest in Pakistan of a former leader of a banned militant outfit allegedly involved in his 2002 murder.

Qari Abdul Hayee, popularly known as Asadullah and from Karachi's eastern Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighbourhood, was detained in a raid on his hideout on Sunday, according to a spokesman for Pakistan's Rangers paramilitary force.

The journalist's parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl, who live in the Los Angeles area, hailed the news in a statement issued through the New York-based Daniel Pearl Foundation.

"We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny," they said.

The 38-year-old journalist was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi on Jan 23, 2002, while researching a story about Islamist militants.

A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate in the city nearly a month later.