Pak asks Britain to not deport students caught during anti-terror raids

April 23rd, 2009 - 4:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Apr 23 (ANI): Pakistan has asked the British government not to deport its citizens who were rounded up on suspicion of links with terrorists, but were later released, as the UK Police could not produce evidence against them.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said students had to undergo a harsh time behind bars and now it is up to the UK Government to compensate the students.

Earlier, a lawyer for the three Pakistani men facing deportation after being arrested in anti-terror raids earlier this month said his clients will fight to stay on in Britain.

Mohammed Ayub said the men are in Britain lawfully on student visas, are not extremists and have done nothing wrong.

The men were among a group of 12 swept up in a highly publicised counter-terrorism operation across northern England earlier this month, the Dawn reported.

British police on Tuesday released nine of the arrested men into the custody of immigration authorities. The men, aged between 22 and 38, are now being held by the UK Border Agency, which controls immigration into Britain, and face deportation.

They were originally arrested in the raids on April 8. One man was released into the custody of the UK Border Agency three days later.

The government has come under pressure to strengthen its visa rules after it emerged that 10 of the 11 arrested Pakistani men were in Britain on student visas, while one was a British national.

The raids had to be brought forward after Britain’s top counter-terrorism policeman was photographed holding clearly legible briefing notes on the operation. He resigned over the gaffe, although Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told lawmakers this week the investigation had not been compromised. (ANI)

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