The Hindu : U.K. plot collapses, Pakistanis to be deported

Thursday, April 23, 2009

U.K. plot collapses, Pakistanis to be deported

Hasan Suroor | April 23, 2009

LONDON: An alleged terror plot which led to the arrests, two weeks ago, of 10 Pakistani nationals living in U.K. on student visas has collapsed with the police admitting that they had failed to find any hard evidence to charge them.

While one had already been released, the remaining nine were released on Wednesday and ordered to be deported back to Pakistan.

Two men, including a British national of Pakistani origin, are still in custody.

The 12 were arrested after a series of dramatic raids in north-west England, including Manchester and Lancashire, for allegedly planning what Prime Minister Gordon Brown described as a “very big plot”. The police claimed that the “plot” was in “final” stages of planning and probably timed for the Easter weekend.

Diplomatic row

The arrests sparked a diplomatic row with Pakistan after Mr. Brown accused Islamabad of not doing enough to check terrorism.

The police on Wednesday said they were “continuing to review a large amount of information gathered as part of this investigation”.

Muslim groups criticised the police for making “premature” claims and called for the government to admit that it had made a mistake. Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain accused the government of acting in a “dishonourable” way. “Politics should not be interfering with what is primarily a legal process.”

Mohammed Ayub, lawyer for three of the students, said the deportation orders should be revoked and they be allowed to continue their studies.

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