The United States said on Wednesday that it was “alarmed” by the Supreme Court’s order to move Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the prime accused in the 2002 killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl, from his death cell to a government rest house. On Tuesday, the apex court directed authorities to move Sheikh from his death cell at the Karachi Central Prison to a government rest house. The verbal order also requires the state to place his family at a rest house with transportation facilities, while the government has been directed to arrange his shifting from the jail within a couple of days. It further said Sheikh would be kept in Karachi and would not be allowed to communicate with the outside world. Talking to journalists in Washington, a spokesperson for the US State Department said: “The United States remains deeply concerned by developments in the cases of those involved in Pearl’s kidnapping and murder. “We are alarmed by the recent order to move Sheikh and his co-conspirators from prison.” The US official recalled that on January 29, US State Secretary Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi discussed “how to ensure accountability for convicted terrorist Omar Sheikh and others responsible for the kidnapping and murder of US citizen and journalist Daniel Pearl”. The State Department’s spokesperson claimed that the court’s decisions “represent an affront to terrorism victims everywhere, including in Pakistan” but also appreciated Islamabad’s efforts to ensure that those involved in the slaying were held accountable for their actions. “The US recognises past Pakistani actions to hold Sheikh accountable and to seek to ensure that he and his co-conspirators remain in custody,” the official said. “We also acknowledge government requests for a review of the split Jan 28 decision.” On Jan 28, the apex court – by a majority of two to one – upheld the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) acquittal of Sheikh and ordered his release if he was not wanted in any other case.