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Former Pak minister detained at US airport

June 28, 2012 10:57 IST

Former Pakistani minister Shaikh Rashid, known for his pro-Lashak-e-Tayiba leanings, was detained at Houston airport on arrival for his possible links with the terror group's founder Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks.

61-year-old Rashid, leader of the Awami Muslim League of Pakistan, was detained soon after he arrived by an Emirates flight on Wednesday evening and was freed after five hours of interrogation.

Sources said Rashid was detained for his possible links with Saeed.

It is understood that he was scheduled to attend a fundraiser and meetings with his supporters in the US.

The US Department of Homeland Security was not immediately available for any comments.

According to Pakistan's Geo News channel, the former minister was released after Pakistan's Ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, asked the Pakistani consulate here to help him out.

Following her directives, Pakistan's Consul General in Houston, Aqil Nadeem, reached the airport to talk to the immigration authorities following which the former minister was allowed to leave the airport after five hours of interrogation, it said.

Rashid had in recent past actively attended the rallies and meetings organised by Defa-e Pakistan Council, an alliance of extremist and hardline groups formed by JuD chief Saeed.

He had accompanied Saeed to the rallies and press conferences where they both made statements against India and the US.

Rashid had served as the minister for railways in Pakistan from 2006 to 2008.

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