• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Briton freed from jail in Pakistan 'was set up'

A BRITISH grandfather jailed under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws for "posing" as a Muslim has spoken of his experience after he escaped to Scotland.

Masud Ahmad, 73, was imprisoned in November last year for reciting a passage from the Koran, an incident which was secretly filmed by a man who visited his homeopathy clinic in Lahore as a patient.

Ahmad, a Pakistani-British national, belongs to the Ahmadiyya community, who were declared non-Muslim by the Pakistan government in 1974 and are barred from practising their faith as Muslims.

He spent 65 days sleeping on the floor in a cramped prison cell before he was granted bail at a third attempt. He managed to escape to the UK with the help of supporters and is now living with his children in Glasgow.

The grandfather of nine believes he was deliberately targeted and set up by the man.

"He asked me for some medical advice. I wrote whatever was needed and after that he pushed me into the religious questions," he said. "I said, 'Let's see what the Koran says'. I just quoted a little bit and translated it into Urdu, and then the police came."

Ahmad, who first came to the UK in the 1960s before returning to Pakistan in the 1980s, said members of the Ahmadiyya community were treated as second-class citizens. He said: "I love my country but I can't go back. If I go back I will be imprisoned or murdered.

"Glasgow's nice. The weather's sometimes hard to get used to - it rains, then it's sunny, then it rains again. But it is a very nice place."

Contextual targeting label: 
Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

229354