HC Deb 17 May 1994 vol 243 cc670-1
Q3. Mr. Madden

To ask the Prime Minister what representations he had made to the Government of Pakistan to secure the release of Mr. Ghazanfer Ali from prison in Mirpur.

The Prime Minister

Although Mr. Ali is not a British citizen, our high commissioner in Islamabad has followed this matter closely on a humanitarian basis. We are concerned that Mr. Ali's case keeps being adjourned. Officials at the Foreign Office are arranging to meet his son to discuss future courses of action.

Mr. Madden

I thank the Prime Minister, on behalf of Mr. Ali's wife and family, for his past efforts on this man's behalf. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, Mr. Ali has been held without proper trial for the past four years. I urge him to make further representations to the Prime Minister of Pakistan and to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, who will be visiting Britain and calling at the House of Commons later this week.

The Prime Minister

I know that the hon. Gentleman has taken a very great interest in the matter. So far, we have pursued it on a humanitarian basis. Given the length of time that Mr. Ali has been detained without trial, I shall consider raising his case again with the Pakistani authorities. The hon. Gentleman knows that as Mr. Ali is not a British national we cannot assist specifically with consular advice. However, on a humanitarian basis, it is right that we should again raise with the Pakistani authorities the question of his lengthy detention without trial.

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