News Malik asked me to shun Mirza: Lord Nazir

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Mar 5, 2010
LONDON: British Pakistani community leaders extended support to Lord Nazir Ahmed here after the AJK cabinet passed resolution declaring him ‘persona non grata’ and revoking his citizenship.

Community leaders from all parties and parts of UK came to London for a press conference with Lord Ahmed and expressed solidarity with him and warned the AJK government of serious consequences if an apology was not offered to Lord Ahmed, a tireless campaigner for the cause of Kashmir and Chairman of the All Parties Parliamentary Group on Kashmir in the British parliament.

Lord Ahmed revealed that Interior Minister Rehman Malik had called him to stop liaising with Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and not to accompany him to the Scotland Yard meeting. “Rehman Malik called me and said he had orders from the top to convey to me that I shall stop supporting Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and not offer him help with setting up meetings with the Scotland Yard about Dr Imran Farooq’s murder. I refused to listen to Malik’s dictates and I have been punished through President Asif Ali Zardari’s cronies in the AJK government, who have done what India has failed to do in 22 years of my campaign against Indian occupation of Kashmir,” said Lord Nazir.

Lord Ahmed said that through his call to stop me, Rehman Malik had in fact attempted to “prevent the course of justice” and he will consult his lawyers to see if charges could be brought against Rehman Malik.

He claimed that President Zardari came under pressure from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and in turn pressurized the AJK government to go on a vindictive path against him. On Friday night, Lord Ahmed and Zulfiqar Mirza were attacked by three men in Manchester when they were making their way to a TV interview. These men knocked down his driver and slightly hurt Dr Mirza.

Lord Ahmed said the attack had shaken him and he was aware that he was targeted for “political reasons” and that his life was in danger in Britain and Pakistan. “I have cancelled my trip to Pakistan until safety is assured. President Asif Ali Zardari should be held responsible if anything happens to my life and property (its being ‘investigated’ by the AJK authorities in Mirpur). Those who acted against me couldn’t have acted without approval from the top,” he asserted.

Lord Ahmed reminded President Zardari to remember those days when he single-handedly took their case to the British parliament over red arrest warrants issued by the Interpol against Benazir Bhutto. “I am proud that I helped Benazir Bhutto but the character of the party has changed after her death,” he complained.

He announced that Labour MP Denis MacShane will raise questions in parliament about the pace of Dr Imran Farooq’s murder investigation. He also announced that he has offered resignation to Andrew Griffits MP from the All Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir because “the fight is personal now and I don’t want to hurt the cause of Kashmir.”

The Greater Manchester Police is still looking for the suspects who attacked Lord Ahmed and Dr Mirza but whispers in the community are rife that the attackers were influenced by the AJK politics and the war of words between Lord Ahmed and AJK leaders.

Lord Ahmed warned that the AJK government has sent a wrong signal to nearly a million Kashmiris in Britain as well as more than 10 million Pakistanis overseas as it showed that the AJK didn’t care for the diaspora communities. He warned that the actions of the AJK leaders will only increase polarization among overseas communities.