Families worry for Pak students held in UK
The News, April 13, 2009
By Rahimullah Yusufzai
PESHAWAR: The families of three Pakistani students arrested in UK on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist plot have stepped forward in three cities of NWFP and declared that the detained men were innocent.
Nasrullah Jan Khattak, the father of Abid Naseer who was named in sections of the British media as the ringleader of the group of 11 Pakistanis detained in northwest England last Wednesday, told The News that his son had no link with militants and terrorists. “My son has a beard and prays five times a day. Ours is a religious-minded family but this doesn’t mean that my son is part of a terrorist cell,” he stressed.
Khattak said the British media had wrongly reported that Abid Naseer belonged to the tribal areas. “We belong to Karak district in NWFP but I shifted to Peshawar in 1987 and started doing business as a property dealer, government contractor and builder,” he explained. He said his son had studied at the Islamia College, Peshawar and was a good cricketer.
He said Abid Naseer went to England two years ago to acquire a degree in IT from a university in Manchester. “His student visa was going to expire in September 2009. He told us that he prayed at the Al-Falah Mosque in Cheetham Hill in Manchester,” Khattak said.
He said he tried calling his son in England on Friday but got no reply. “I was concerned as I had read news about the arrest of Pakistani students in UK. Finally I got to know from the newspaper that Abid Naseer has been arrested on suspicion of being part of a terror plot. It was unbelievable,” he recalled.
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