THE family and representatives of a Scot sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy has criticised UK Government efforts to free their father, claiming his race could be a factor.

The claims by relatives of Mohammad Asghar come days after a legal bid to have the threat of execution lifted collapsed when prosecutors failed to appear at court.

Mr Asghar, from Edinburgh, has been imprisoned in Pakistan accused of writing letters in which he claimed to be the Prophet Mohammed since 2010 and was sentenced to death in January 2014, despite his lawyers’ claims he was mentally unfit to stand trial.

The 71-year-old has paranoid schizophrenia and was shot in the back by a prison guard at Adiala prison in Rawalpindi in September 2014, prompting a series of calls for the Prime Minster to step in.

His daughter Jasmine Rana accused the Government of failing the family by telling them to remain silent to protect behind the scenes efforts to release Mr Asghar.

But she expressed concerns nothing had happened while her father remained on death row.

She told the Sunday Mail: "We were told to say nothing, remain silent, and let the officials talk to each other,” she said.

"We remained silent but can remain silent no longer. Words are easy but we need action and we need it now.

"Would he still be there if he was white? That is a question only David Cameron can answer but what do I think? No, he would not."

Mr Asghar's solicitor Aamer Anwar added: "There is nothing, absolutely nothing in Islam that justifies the taking of innocent life by the use of blasphemy laws.

"Yet the Pakistani authorities have repeatedly breached their legal, moral and international obligations towards Mohammad Asghar.

"Inevitably, the question that has arisen is whether things would have been different if Mohammad Asghar was a white grandfather from Edinburgh.

"After all, this isn’t Isis holding a British citizen, it’s a friendly government. We supply them with weapons, share intelligence and gave them £1billion in aid over the last two years.

"Yet, for some reason, our Prime Minister has been spineless in negotiating the return home of Mohammad Asghar, a frightened 71-year-old who is suffering from severe paranoid schizophrenia, sentenced to death for blasphemy because the courts refused to listen to the medical evidence."

Mr Asghar remains in a secure hospital, held in isolation in a windowless room. His family have urged the Prime Minister to promise to protect liberal politicians who have called for a relaxation of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

Some have been assassinated and many more have been intimidated into silence.

Last week, a crowd of 100,000 gathered for the funeral of religious assassin Mumtaz Qadri in Pakistan. He was executed for murdering Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab, who had criticised the country’s blasphemy laws and voiced support for a Christian woman who had been convicted of the charge.

While in jail, Qadri incited a prison guard to shoot Mr Asghar as he rested in his cell.

The Foreign Office yesterday insisted Mr Asghar’s case continues to be a “high priority”.

A spokeswoman said: “We continue to raise it at senior levels in Pakistan to ensure that he is receiving the best possible support.

“Consular officials continue to monitor Mr Asghar’s situation and are in regular contact with his family.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are extremely concerned about Mr Asghar’s wellbeing and we continue to work with all relevant parties to ensure his safety. We stand by to help in any way that we can.”