Telegraph : Pakistani student arrested during terror raids 'to be deported for visa irregularities'

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pakistani student arrested during terror raids 'to be deported for visa irregularities'

By Ian Johnston | July 20, 2009

A Pakistani student arrested at gunpoint during an anti-terrorism operation is facing deportation for "visa irregularities" despite not being charged after the raids, it was claimed.

Janas Khan, 26, was arrested along with 11 other foreign students in April during 'Operation Pathway'.

It had to be brought forward by police after Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick was photographed as he walked into Downing Street, holding a file displaying details of the planned operation.

Despite being released without charge Mr Khan, who was studying for a Masters of Business Administration at Liverpool Hope University, is now facing deportation because of "visa irregularities".

He has also been forced to wear an electronic tag.

Mr Khan, who also works as a part-time as a security guard, protested his innocence during a series of interviews at the weekend.

He said: "Growing up we heard that the UK was the one place that respected human rights and justice, which is why I wanted to study here. I'm shocked and angry. I am innocent and I still can't believe I was arrested on no evidence.

"We came to this country to make our future, not to ruin it, not to destroy it. Our family sent us to do our degrees so when we go back to our country we get a good job."

He denied he and the six other arrested men he knows had ever been involved in extremism and when asked if they had even talked about it, he told Channel 4 News: "No, not too much.

"It was the best of life we were mostly discussing - about girls and class fellows and about our studies."

He said when he was arrested armed officers burst in, saying "don't move" and "put your hands up".

"I don't have words to describe that moment. It was a scary and shocking moment for us," he said.

Mr Khan, originally from Peshawar, and another man, Sultan Sher, were released from custody on Friday.

Now staying in a Manchester hostel following his release from Woodhill Prison, Mr Khan said he was interviewed by officers more than 10 times.

"They were asking me about my friends," he said.

"There was some pictures put in front of me and they were asking 'who's this guy?', 'who's this guy?'...'how did you meet with him?"

Mr Khan and Mr Sher, from Manchester, were detained as the Home Office sought to deport them, claiming they posed a threat to national security.

But that allegation was dropped last week, a solicitor for one of the men said.

Home Office officials said the Government would now seek to deport them for visa irregularities.

A spokesman said: "These individuals no longer meet the required criteria for detention on the grounds of national security.

"They are currently detained pending removal on immigration grounds, but legally we cannot hold them indefinitely.

"We are therefore putting in place suitable and robust measures to ensure we are fully aware of their whereabouts as we progress their cases for removal."

Lawyer Mohammed Ayub said the terror allegations against his client were "groundless" and he would oppose the continuing attempts to deport him.

He said: "It beggars belief that the Secretary of State could behave like this. Why was my client held in custody for all this time?

"I wish to state my client is entitled to an unreserved apology and no further action should be taken against him."

Of the remaining men held during the raid, one has joint British and Pakistani citizenship and has been released.

Another has returned to Pakistan voluntarily and an Afghan man is in custody pending deportation for allegedly being in the UK illegally.

The remaining seven still face deportation on the grounds of national security.

Their case returns to court later this month.