PM asks Pakistan about city grandad shot in jail

David Cameron has raised the case of an Edinburgh grandfather being held on death row in Pakistan during a meeting with the country’s prime minister.
David Cameron met Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Picture: PADavid Cameron met Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Picture: PA
David Cameron met Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Picture: PA

Mohammad Asghar, 70, from Edinburgh - who is said to suffer from paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced to death in January after being convicted of blasphemy after allegedly claiming to be a prophet.

Mr Asghar was shot and injured in Adiala prison in Rawalpindi last month.

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The Prime Minister discussed the case with Mohammad Nawaz Sharif during talks at 10 Downing Street, following yesterday’s international conference in London on the future of Afghanistan.

Mohammed Asgar. Picture: CompMohammed Asgar. Picture: Comp
Mohammed Asgar. Picture: Comp

A Downing Street spokeswoman said that Mr Cameron’s focus was on making sure that Mr Asghar “gets the right level of treatment and care and that his case is handled in the right way, given his particular circumstances”.

The case has already been raised at various levels with the Pakistani authorities by UK ministers and officials.

In October, Mr Asghar’s daughter, Jasmine Rana, travelled from Edinburgh to present a 70,000-signature petition to Downing Street calling for Mr Cameron to intervene in her father’s case.

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The grandfather was arrested in 2010 following a complaint by a tenant with whom he was having a dispute.

Insulting the Koran or the Prophet Mohammed can be punished with life imprisonment or death in Pakistan.

Mr Asghar has filed an appeal against his sentence, but it may take several years to reach court.

Mr Cameron and Mr Sharif also discussed the economic relationship between Pakistan and the UK - including the contribution made by Britain’s Pakistani community - and their work together on tackling terrorism.

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They were later joined by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for talks about how to strengthen the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, including military co-operation and co-operation on border security.