A Pakistani court on Monday directed the government not to deport five American Muslim youths arrested over alleged terrorist links to the US or any other country even as authorities seized the luggage and a mobile phone of the US nationals from a hotel in the southern city of Karachi.
Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif of Lahore High Court ruled that the five youths could not be deported in response to a petition filed by former Inter-Services Intelligence agency official Khalid Khwaja.
The five youths -- Waqar Hussain Khan (22), Omar Farooq (24), Ahmed Abdullah Minni (20), Ramy S Zamzam (22) and Iman Hassan Yemer (17) -- wanted to go to Afghanistan to fight the US-led forces but were arrested by Pakistani police last week in Sargodha in Punjab province.
In his petition, Khwaja said the five youths should be tried under Pakistani laws. He alleged there were apprehensions the government might hand them over to the US or some other country as they had not been produced before a judge five days after their arrest.
In his petition, Khwaja contended Pakistani authorities had violated constitutional provisions by holding the US nationals at a "secret place" where their kin had no access to them.
Authorities had also violated the constitution by not producing them before a magistrate within 24 hours of their arrest, he claimed.