By Irum Saleem
Sexual assult charges against PTI sympathiser and fund raiser in London Lord Nazir and his disgraceful exit frrom the UK House of Lords has come as a blow for the ruling party in Pakistan.
Senior journalist and former DAWN editor Abbas Nasir put in his tweets saying “Another own goal by the unaccountable security state officials.
One of their prime UK asset’s — Lord Nazir — expulsion from the House is being followed up by a devastating BBC report scheduled for tonight that shows him as a serial sexual predator.”
Nasir further said: “Any guesses who he was parroting, when he lashed out at Pakistani politicians from the famed Islamabad container, calling them corrupt and unworthy of governing? He was chosen to be one of the main advocates of our Kashmir policy in UK. And a key backer of the hybrid regime.”
Any guesses who he was parroting, when he lashed out at Pakistani politicians from the famed Islamabad container, calling them corrupt and unworthy of governing? He was chosen to be one of the main advocates of our Kashmir policy in UK. And a key backer of the hybrid regime. 2/2— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) November 17, 2020
What a shame for those who used to give him great honour in Pakistan on his visit here. Nazir the sexual pervert was taken once a country’s pride.
Now Pakistani government must announce that if Nazir dares to come Pakistan he would be taken to task. Rather PTI should tell him “Go Lord go”.
BBC reports that member of the House of Lords retired from Parliament after seeing a conduct report recommending he be expelled for sexually exploiting a vulnerable woman.
Lord Ahmed retires from Parliament days before expulsion https://t.co/Ha4tPbMWxU— Sajid Iqbal (@BBCSajidIqbal) November 17, 2020
The Lords Conduct Committee concluded Lord Ahmed of Rotherham emotionally and sexually exploited Tahira Zaman, who came to him for help in 2017.
The inquiry into his behaviour followed a BBC Newsnight investigation.
BBC further reporta that Lord Ahmed said the allegations in the report were not true and he would appeal against the decision.
Ms Zaman said she was “elated and relieved” at the report’s findings.
‘I was looking for help’
The Lords Conduct Committee report concluded Lord Ahmed had exploited Ms Zaman, despite knowing she was receiving treatment for anxiety and depression.
The Lords Commissioner for Standards, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, said this “exacerbates the seriousness” of his breaches of the code of conduct.
Ms Zaman told Newsnight last year: “I was looking for help and he took advantage of me, he abused his power.”
She said she had approached Lord Ahmed because she thought he could help her get the Metropolitan Police to investigate a faith healer who she believed was exploiting women.
Lord Ahmed wrote to the Met Police Commissioner on headed paper on 2 March, and he and Ms Zaman met at a restaurant in east London in February 2017 to discuss the case.
After dinner, Ms Zaman alleged that Lord Ahmed groped her upper thigh.
On the balance of probabilities, the Commissioner for Standards’ investigation found that Lord Ahmed had sexually assaulted her.
Ms Zaman says she was shocked by his behaviour and broke off contact.
But, encouraged by a friend, she messaged Lord Ahmed on 14 July that year to ask if he had received a reply from the police.
He said he had and they arranged to meet at his house in east London to discuss it.
She told Newsnight last year: “He was saying I’m beautiful and, you know, he really likes me.”
Later that evening, in September 2017, they had sex.
The Commissioner for Standards concludes: “I find that it is more likely than not that Ms Zaman went to Lord Ahmed’s house at his invitation to discuss the offer made by the police to meet her.
“However, he had no intention of forwarding her concerns to the police and his use of the offer of a meeting made in the letter from the police to lure Ms Zaman to his house was dishonest.”
Tahira Zaman complained about Lord Ahmed’s behaviour to the Lords’ Commissioner for Standards Lord Ahmed continued to pursue her and Ms Zaman felt they were entering into a relationship.
But Ms Zaman says that after two months the relationship ended. She says she realised she had been exploited.
Ms Zaman first complained to the House of Lords about Lord Ahmed’s behaviour in January 2018.
She approached Newsnight after the Commissioner for Standards told her Lord Ahmed could not be investigated because the code of conduct only covered his parliamentary “duties” – mainly proceedings of the House of Lords.
Newsnight began to investigate the Lords’ decision not to accept Ms Zaman’s complaint, for a film broadcast in February last year.
Interviewed by Newsnight, Lord Carlile QC, a former deputy high court judge, said the Commissioner for Standards had “got it wrong”, adding: “If someone comes to you for help, particularly if they’re vulnerable and you form a sexual relationship, actually that’s disgraceful.”
The Commissioner for Standards denied this, telling Newsnight that was a misunderstanding of the code of conduct.
Ten weeks after the film was broadcast, the House of Lords changed the wording of the code to cover parliamentary “activities”, rather than just “duties”. It was retrospective and so covered Lord Ahmed’s behaviour.
Ms Zaman re-submitted her complaint, which led to a detailed investigation by the Commissioner for Standards.
‘I wanted justice’
Responding to the report, Ms Zaman said: “I feel elated and relieved because the whole experience for me was quite traumatising. I’m still digesting, digesting it.
“I keep on telling myself that I’ve got what I wanted – I wanted justice.”
Lord Ahmed said: “I am extremely disappointed by the report of the conduct committee, which is based on a flawed and unfair investigation process.
“I have always said, and maintain, that the allegations contained in the report are not true.
“Given this, I am now going to continue pursuing my appeal to the European Court of Human Rights to remedy this injustice.”
Lord Nazir hails from Azad Kashmir and was made a life peer on the recommendation of Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998. He is currently living in Rotherham.
The child abuse trial pending
In a separate case, the former Labour peer Lord Nazir and two of his brothers in 2019 were charged with historical sexual offences against minors. He has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Lord Nazir was charged with serious sexual assault against a boy under the age of 11 and the indecent assault of the same boy; two counts of attempting to rape a girl who was under the age of 16. All charges relate to dates between 1971 and 1974.
His brother Mohamed Farouq was charged with four counts of indecent assault against a boy. One of these counts relates to when the boy was under eight, in the late 1960s. His other brother Mohammed Tariq was charged with two counts of indecent assault against a boy under 11.
The trial was set to commence in January this year but has been postponed to resume in January 2021 because of Covid-19 restrictions on jury trials.
Let’s see if the Pakistani government comes to the rescue of Lord Nazir after BBC’s damming report.— PAK DESTINY