Pakistani expelled from Britain after nuclear allegation

STEVE CRAWSHAW

A member of the staff of the Pakistan High Commission is to be expelled from Britain, accused of helping Pakistan in its nuclear weapons programme.

Mohammed Saleem was yesterday served with a deportation order at his home. According to the Home Office, Mr Saleem was to be deported because of his involvement in matters relating to security and "the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction".

The Pakistanis seemed eager to wash their hands of Mr Saleem, or at least to distance themselves from him. A spokesman yesterday emphasised that Mr Saleem - who was hired locally in the UK and does not have diplomatic status - was dismissed last week because he was "considered not desirable by the host government".

Mr Saleem was officially said to have been "a junior clerk in the accounts department". He is a permanent resident of the UK, and has lived here for 18 years. British officials yesterday refused to confirm suggestions that he might have been involved in espionage.

Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme has been a constant source of tension, both regionally and internationally. India recently test-fired a long- range version of the Prithvi missile, which has nuclear capability. The President of Pakistan, Farooq Leghari, described the missile as "a very serious and new threat for Pakistan".

Mr Leghari warned: "We can also put in our effort to produce an indigenous missile, but we wish to avoid such a race." Neither India nor Pakistan is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. It is now assumed that both India and Pakistan have nuclear arms.

In 1990, Britain expelled a Pakistani diplomat, Ahmed Jamil, for similar reasons. Mr Jamil was believed to be an associate of the leading Pakistani nuclear scientist, Abdul Qader Khan. There have also been several recent reported incidents in which Britain has blocked the proposed export to Pakistan of equipment that could be used in a nuclear programme, including laser-measuring equipment from Sweden and a solid state laser from Hungary.

Mr Saleem still has the right of appeal against yesterday's deportation order. The conciliatory reaction of the Pakistan authorities to the proposed expulsion makes it clear that Pakistan does not want a confrontation with Britain. Nor, however, does it appear ready to back down from its nuclear ambitions.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine