Mohd Asif released from detention
Pakistani pacer Mohd Asif's 19-day ordeal comes to an end as authorities in Dubai decide to release him from detention for carrying contraband drugs.Updated: Jun 20, 2008 02:57 IST
Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif's 19-day ordeal eventually came to an end on Thursday after the authorities in Dubai decided to release him from detention for carrying contraband drugs.
Asif will be deported to Pakistan Thursday or early morning Friday, Dr Zafar Ali, media chancellor of Pakistan Embassy in UAE, said.
"The public prosecutor has decided against pressing any charges against Asif as such and it has been decided to deport him immediately," Zafar said.
Asif is expected to reach Lahore by an Emirates flight later on Thursday.
Asif was in detention since June 1 when he was caught with contraband drugs at Dubai airport on his way back home from India after playing in the Indian Premier League.
Another official of Pakistan's embassy in Dubai, Salahuddin Khan said the paper work for the cricketer's deportation was complete.
"We are hopeful that Mohammad Asif will be released before midnight in Dubai," said Salahuddin, who was assisting Asif on behalf of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
The news of Asif's deportation will also bring some relief for the PCB as it was trying to get the pacer released early.
The PCB has said it would hold its own internal inquiry once Asif returns home but refused to comment any further on the issue insisting they still did not know all the facts of the incident.
Forensic examinations had confirmed that Asif was in possession of the banned recreational drug opium.
It is believed that Asif had 0.24gms of opium in his wallet when he was transiting through Dubai en route to Pakistan from India.
In the past several celebrity figures have been detained by the airport authorities in Dubai for possession of small quantity of drugs. A few have been sentenced and served it while others have been sentenced but then pardoned and sent back home.