SIALKOT, July 25: The body of an expatriate Pakistani who was allegedly tortured to death on July 21 in Birmingham, is reaching his hometown Pasrur, 33 kilometres away from here, on Sunday.
The family of 35-year-old Muhammad Arshad told Dawn that he was thrashed by four drunken Englishmen when he stopped them from uttering derogatory remarks against Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
His spouse, Shahida, also a British national, and his three sons, seven-year-old Hamza, five-year-old Fazal and three-year-old Fahad, would accompany the coffin from Birmingham to Pasrur.
Shahida also informed Arshad’s family that one of the suspects had been arrested while hunt for the remaining ones was under way. Arshad, the son of Subedar Haji Muhammad Ashraf (retired), a local trader based in Mohallah Jinnah Gate, went to the United Kingdom around 10 years ago. He started his business of computer accessories in Birmingham after marrying Shahida.
His father told reporters that Arshad left his apartment for work when four drunken Englishmen started abusing him and the Muslims apparently for nothing.
They also uttered blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) on which Arshad asked them to stop doing so.
This annoyed the hoodlums who started thrashing Arshad instead with clubs and rods. Arshad received serious injuries and succumbed to his wounds.
The autopsy carried out twice confirmed that Arshad’s death had been caused by the severe torture.
His wife Shahida contacted police authorities for the arrest of the four suspects on which they registered a case and arrested one of them.
The news has shaken Muslim and Pakistani communities in the United Kingdom as well as in Pakistan.
Haji Ashraf said his son was a true Muslim and he sacrificed his life to protect and preserve the honour and dignity of his religion.
His elder brother Malik Ahmad Ali said Arshad had recently sent a hefty amount to purchase a generator for a local mosque. He said the incident had indicated that Muslims were not safe in the UK.