Zulqarnain to return Pakistan on April 25 following govt’s ‘top-level security’ assurance

April 17th, 2011 - 11:48 am ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, April 17(ANI): Runaway former Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haidar, who is currently living in the United Kingdom on a temporary visa, will return to Islamabad on April 25.

The now retired wicketkeeper had stunned one and all by fleeing the team hotel in Dubai hours before the final one-day international against South Africa last year. After reaching London, he had claimed that he had got death threats from a person who wanted him to fix matches, and subsequently sought asylum in the United Kingdom.

He had also expressed his concern about his family’s security in Pakistan. “I am worried about my family’s security in Pakistan at the moment. Once they reach here (London), I will definitely unearth the corruption in Pakistan cricket,” he was quoted as saying in January.

Zulqarnain, however, voluntarily withdrew his application for asylum in Britain after the Pakistan government assured him and his family of “the highest level of security” in the country.

Following his decision to take back his asylum plea, Zulqarnain wrote a letter in this regard to British Home Secretary Theresa May, detailing the reasons both for seeking asylum and for now withdrawing his request for sanctuary.

“In light of the assurances that I have received, I feel that I no longer need sanctuary in the UK and have accordingly decided to withdraw my claim for asylum,” Geo TV quoted Zulqarnain, as saying in his letter to the British Home Secretary.

According to Zulqarnain, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had assured him full protection in Pakistan, so he decided to return to the country, Dunya News reports.

A few days back, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rahman Malik had assured Zulqarnain that he and his family would be given complete security, should the cricketer decide to return to the country from his self-imposed exile in the UK.

Malik’s acknowledgment that the “cricket mafia is strong” and that “the cricketer had the right to flee abroad” might shock many in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who had blamed Zulqernain for bringing shame to Pakistan by deserting the team in the middle of an ODI series. (ANI)

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