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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Letter to British Premier regarding detained Pakistani students

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My dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Re: Arrested Pakistani Students at Manchester

We refer to the above and confirm that Association of Pakistani Lawyers a team of Pakistani origin lawyers, Solicitors, Barristers, Judges in UK jointly have decided to approach your kind intervention on this very sensitive issue pertaining to Pakistani students and community here and abroad.

Facts:

On 8 April 2009, Manchester based police Officers arrested 12 men in parallel raids at 10 addresses across Manchester, Liverpool and Clitheroe, Lancashire. Operation Pathway was rushed into action early on Wednesday evening following accidental breach of security by a Govt official. Twelve men were arrested in the north west of England. Ten of those arrested are Pakistan-born nationals on student visas and one is a UK-born British national. Their precise ages are not known but likely to be ranging between mid-to-late teens and a 41-year-old man.

Greater Manchester Police said several hundred officers were involved in the operation, including armed officers during some of the arrests. Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of the North West CTU said: “Today’s action is part of a continuing investigation and we have acted on intelligence received. Prime Minister himself issued a statement after those arrests with a hope to have intercepted a big gang. Nothing concrete have come to light so far. Those detained has been remanded into custody and are under investigation. There is no information whether they have been able to access their local consulate, lawyer of their choice and or their families to alert them of the happenings.

Issue:

Clause 29 of the Magna Carta ensures that ‘no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or have his liberties removed but by lawful judgement of his peers’. This 800 years old tradition is mirrored in Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 where it was pledged that “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law” and due process of law and fair trial were considered as the basic ingredient of a citizen’s freedom.

APL believes that British courts have played genuinely a praiseworthy role by separating the chaff from grain. They ensured that due process of law, fair trial and citizen’s liberties remain intact whilst govt ensures to protect the public and look after the interest of the state. Life would be miserable if on the basis of fear, further fear is created and these liberties which were achieved by continuous sacrifices of our ancestors are lost on the basis of some threats of a few fanatic and thugs, who are, and will remain in a small minority.

Looking at the treatment of missing persons where hundreds were handed over to CIA by Pakistani regime & military authorities in exchange of dollars without due process of law in the absence of any extradition treaty without a judicial oversight and USA’s military trials in Guantanamo bay, and water boarding, its very reassuring that whatever the case may be British subjects are safe in securing their basic human rights such as right to have an attorney, free trial, innocent until proven guilty and right to liberty through its free, independent, robust and pro justice Civil and Constitutional Courts.

APL requests the Prime Minister to intervene and support our charter of demand:

Resolution of Demand:

1. Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their respective country’s mission as protected by diplomatic norms and convention

2. Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their family member(s) to confirm their arrest and well being;

3. Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their attorney of choice as protected by Article 6(3) c of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950;

4. Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have a periodical check up with the respective medical officer to ensure they are not tortured;

5. Govt of Great Britain must allow the detained Pakistani students to have access to their basic human rights such as right to have a free and fair trial believing them innocent until proven guilty and their right to liberty must be protected through its free, independent, Civil and Constitutional Courts. If there is any evidence against them, they be allowed to face a trial by charging them rather than keeping them under administrative detention where nothing is known and one sided media trial takes place on limited information.

APL believes that 9/11 was the most tragic incident in this decade which brought so much hatred; vengeance along with it, as well as, it brought the ancient civilisations on to a flash point where tolerance and forbearance was lost somewhere down the line.

Pakistanis as a nation suffered a great loss not only economically but physically. Its army has lost around a thousand soldiers and thousands civilians lay their lives and scores got injured and displaced as a result of their active participation in the north of their country bordering areas of Afghanistan.

Pakistani community on the whole condemn terrorism in any form or shape and firmly believe in civil and political emancipation of people by protecting its own heritage and culture, and we seek international community’s cooperation to acknowledge such drive of the community, and allow such treatment which is befitting to its role.

We are sure Prime Minister will look into this matter as a matter of extreme urgency and we hope our representations are given due weight in the interest of public in order to promote rule of law, justice for the minority community who is under hardship since 9/11.

Yours Sincerely,

Amjad Malik, MA, LLM
Solicitor-Advocate sc (England)
Life Member SCBA (Pakistan)
Chair

Saleem Shah, LLB
Solicitor Supreme Court (England)
Vice President

Mr. Ilyas Gondal, LLB
Former Add Session judge of Punjab Courts
Solicitor Supreme Court (England)
Permanent Secretary

Mohammad Rafiq
Assistant Secretary
Association of Pakistani Lawyers

Arshad Ch
Advocate Supreme Court
Co-ordinator Islamabad

Azhar Ch
Vice Chair 2006 PBC
Advocate High Court
Co-ordinator Sialkot

Ijaz Ahmed Wahla
Advocate High Court
Life Member Lahore High Court Bar Association
Co-ordinator Faisalabad

Younas Naul
Advocate High Court
Co-ordinator Lahore

Office Address:
APL Chambers:
149a DRAKE STREET
ROCHDALE
OL11 1EF

TEL: 00 44 1706 346 011
FAX: 00 44 1706 346012
MOBILE: 00 44 7770 983308
EMAIL: APLRochdale@aol.com

c.cRt. Hon. David Miliband
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
London
SW1A OAA

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Amjad Malikhttp://www.pak-times.com
Amjad Malik, Solicitor–Advocate of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, life member of SCBA of Pakistan, a specialist in immigration and Human Rights Law. He is a member of Law Society’s Immigration Law Committee’, he was awarded ‘Young Human Rights Lawyer Award’ for the year 2000. In the year 2001,Young Pro Bono Solicitor’s Group also named him for the national ‘Young Pro Bono Solicitor Award’. On 28 February 2007 he was awarded by (UICF) United International Community Forum (UK) in recognition to his outstanding professional contribution towards service of Asian and British community in role model capacity where Chief guest was Mrs. Cherrie Blair. He sits on ‘UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Pro Bono Lawyer’s Panel.’ He is UK representative on young lawyer committee of the International Bar Association & UK Director of Human Rights Foundation (USA) and is a current Vice chair of ‘Association of Pakistani Lawyers (UK)’.
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2 COMMENTS

  1. it is a moment of pride to see a Pakistani professional organization active in this case and raising their concern to the authorities. however, amjad malik sahib’s letter left me wondering what was the relevance of bringing up the issue of missing persons in Pakistan while prematurely according a moral superiority to the british government? as i’m writing this, all but two have been released without charge! that tells me volumes about the efficiency of the british police as well as the fairness of their legal system. not to speak the deamonization of Pakistan by the media and the government itself. Pakistan must claim damages for all this and the british government, police and the media should think before they speak or act.

  2. I think the issue of missing persons is totally in relevance. Because Briton is an active ally of USA and upon analogous handling of this issue would raise anti government sentiments in the Pakistani community.

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