The Peninsula : Families worry for students held in UK

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Families worry for students held in UK

April 14, 2009

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 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, said yesterday 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 North West Frontier Province] 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.