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Plea to Prime Minister- Lawyer for imprisoned Mohammed Asghar calls on David Cameron to join the fight for Scots release

Published by Sunday Mail/Daily Record on the 12th October 2014

THE lawyer for Mohammed Asghar has urged the Prime Minister to step in and help the family secure the release of the Scottish grandfather currently facing death for blasphemy in a Pakistani jail.

Tearful daughter Jasmine, with the family’s lawyer Aamer Anwar.

THE lawyer acting for the Asghar family last night appealed to David Cameron to personally intervene and ask the Pakistani authorities to free Mohammad.

Aamer Anwar spoke out after it was revealed that Downing Street had asked Tobias Ellwood, minister for Pakistan, to meet with the family.

Plea to Prime Minister

Anwar said that, while they welcomed the offer of direct ministerial talks, the weight of the Prime Minister’s influence is needed now.

He added: “Our request was for a meeting with the Prime Minister. We’re due to present Mohammad Asghar’s petition at Downing Street on Friday. That would be the perfect opportunity to meet.

“They have to raise their game now because Mr Asghar’s life is hanging by a thread. Every hour that goes by means another hour that his life is at risk.

“We’re not asking them to interfere with the internal legal affairs of another country, we’re asking them to personally interfere to bring a sick, old man home to safety.”

Downing Street said: “We have raised the case at senior levels to ensure that Mr Asghar is receiving the best possible support and that there is an urgent investigation into what happened.”

Anwar met Alex Salmond and his external affairs minister Humza Yousaf last week, who promised to raise the issue with the Pakistani government.

He also held private discussions with former Labour MP Mohammad Sarwar, now governor of Punjab.

Yesterday, Salmond said his government will do everything they can.

He added: “This is a deeply worrying time for Mr Asghar’s family, and I share their concerns.

“We have been in touch with authorities in Pakistan, and are also in regular contact with the Foreign Office, who have a key responsibility in helping to ensure his security.”