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Pakistani Students find route to Britain easier

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* Report claims easiest way to obtain student visa to Britain is by
securing letter of admission from British university

LAHORE: Families in the northwestern region of Pakistan have said that there is a growing trend of sending their sons to Britain, largely because of the ease of the gaining admission in obscure colleges there.

According to a report published in The Times, young people living in Pakistan have great incentive to move to Britain as it offers them freedom from family shackles and the prospect of financial gain. The existence in Britain of large Urdu-speaking communities is further incentive, it added, noting that the only barrier used to be the problem of entry.

Letter of admission: Now, according to the report, the easiest way to gain entry to Britain is by securing a letter of admission to a British university, adding this has frequently proven to be enough to obtain a student visa. The motivation can vary but the families of some of those arrested in Britain last week insisted their charges traveled abroad solely for educational reasons.

Ramzan Mehsud, who was arrested by British police last week, comes from Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP. His family is originally from Waziristan. They said he had no sinister intentions. Akbar Ali, his uncle, told The Times that his nephew could not have been involved in radical activities: “He just wanted the degree from Britain to get a better job,” he added. Many of Mehsud’s family members were educated in Britain and some of them were working there too.

Ejaz Ahmed, the elder brother of Abdul Wahab, who was also arrested last week, said that it would be unfair if Wahab and the others detained were to be deported to Pakistan if no charges were brought against them. Ahmed, who comes from Tank in NWFP, added: “The boy should be allowed to complete his term. My brother was only interested in his education and was not even remotely involved in any extremist politics.”

According to Ahmed, his brother, along with some friends, traveled to Britain on a valid student visa in 2006 to do his master’s in business administration. Only a few months were left in his final term, he added. “The boys chose Britain to study because it was easier to get visas and they all wanted to be together,” he added.

Source: Daily Times, 15-Apr-09


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