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banner Monday, 8 April, 2002, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
My brother the Taleban fighter: Your comments
Anwar Khan
The programme about Anwar Khan has struck a raw nerve with many

I have been in the UK for about six years and have observed that most of the Asian children and young live and feel as second class citizens in the UK. Is it not the treatment they receive in the UK that they try to find a way out of their life style and system?
Sheroz Khan, Pakistan


What he needs is counselling, not prison

Fazal Rahman-Khan, Huddersfield
I originate from Tajik in Pakistan. I am a prison visitor to Wakefield prison in England. My job is to assess the needs of prisoners, and in particular British Muslims. After watching your programme, I feel that Anwar Khan has had his life wrecked by drugs like so many others, as a result of mixing with the wrong crowd. What he needs is counselling, not prison. I wish the family success in securing his release so that he may return to a loving family and his son.
Fazal Rahman-Khan, Huddersfield

I am also a young British Muslim (26) and I also originate from Tajik. I feel that Anwar Khan has got into the wrong crowd in the past and is simply a confused individual, who like many others has become a victim of drugs. He is in need of medical attention and not prison, a basic human right. I feel in this case it is hypocritical of the Pakistani government to hold him prisoner for crossing the border that they so freely opened up and allowed people to pass when it suited them. Well done Sue-Lloyd Roberts for reporting so well in such dangerous conditions. I wish the family success in securing Anwar Khan's release.
Javed Khan, Huddersfield.

As a practising Muslim of Indian origin born and raised in England (and very proud to be British I hasten to add) events since September 11th has created a 'them and us feeling' so far as Muslims are concerned where we are forced to choose whether we want to be part of President Bush's war against terror or against the so called 'civilized' world. Too many of us, and for Muslims in particular, the situation is far more complicated than that and I think Miss Roberts and the team brought this out very well in this story. Her commentary was not full of comments which give an air of western superiority but instead gave a feeling that she was in a different society where things are done in a different but equally effective way.
AR Varachhia


He willingly went to Afghanistan to fight for the Taleban against the British and Americans and basically against the civilised world

V.G Shenoi, Glos
I could not understand basically why any right thinking organisation such as the BBC would want to help this ungrateful, mixed-up and obviously irresponsible person. How did he get so much airtime and help from the BBC? He willingly went to Afghanistan to fight for the Taleban against the British and Americans and basically against the civilised world, helped by the fundamental and lunatic Pakistani militant Muslims and his brother wants to get him out of the backward Islamic country and bring him "home". Ajmal was constantly trying to blame everyone else except his brother for his brother's stupid mistakes. Let him learn his lesson, and send him to Cuba or Mecca where he can pray 5 times a day with his Muslim brothers! I don't want my licence money wasted in propaganda semi-documentaries of this sort. I think the BBC is getting dragged into something it does not understand.
V.G Shenoi, Glos

Why did you not ask these questions? 1. Does Ajmal believe his brother betrayed Britain. 2. Should the British people be expected to accept Ajmals brother back into this country?
Jaq, England

Your programme has made me very angry! I couldn't believe that you were trying to free a terrorist! I think you {Ms. Lloyd-Roberts} are too naive if you ever believed that that fella was regretting what he did. It was clear from his response that he did not feel sorry at all. Was he gonna admit it? Of course not. I hope that Pakistani government is wise enough to put this criminal behind bars for as long as possible. P.S. Ajmal: if I was you, I would forget that I ever had this brother! Please, for gods sake, remember those 4000 innocent people.
Mike, UK

After watching your documentary, I am astonished to see that this gentleman decided to take a 'holiday' to a country at war and against the country where he lives, who pay his benefits/provides him with employment etc. This gent should not be allowed to return to the UK under any circumstances. There are thousands of people in our prisons who regret the crimes they have committed so no exception should be made in this case.
Anon


If Mr. Khan is reading this, I would like to wish him all the luck in the world, and also to tell him that he has my full support and admiration

Michael Rowland
I am a 17-year-old (white) student and am outraged by the story I have just seen on your programme about Mr. Khan's search for his brother in Afghanistan. I understand that, in the aftermath of the war in that country, the authorities who took over were unwilling to appear lenient towards those involved with the Taleban, but I can only describe their reluctance to help as obstinacy. What seems to have been overlooked is that the best way of preventing further outbreaks of war and resentment is by forgiving and forgetting, not punishing the "losers". If Mr. Khan is reading this, I would like to wish him all the luck in the world, and also to tell him that he has my full support and admiration. Please don't give up....
Michael Rowland

The programme tonight was very sad, I felt so sorry for the family. One thing I do want to say though is that the Foreign Office are not racist, they simply tend not to help any of us. I am a white middle class female and when I was the victim of a serious crime abroad I got very limited assistance. From my knowledge of other cases this is just how they are, very unconcerned really and their response is often upsetting. I hope things improve for you.
Andrea

Thank you for the wonderful programme aired on March 24th. Who said objective reporting was dead? May God reward you all with His Mercy for bringing to us, a reflection into another's life?
Farrukh


did they arrest him to satisfy the needs of other governments?

Seamus Rickard
I cannot understand why Ajmal was arrested in Pakistan. He had never committed a crime there and was travelling under a British passport. Is there no other way in which you could have left Afghanistan? Was this collusion between the Afghan government and the Pakistan government, did they arrest him to satisfy the needs of other governments?
Seamus Rickard

I am a 16-year-old girl and was very affected by your story. My hopes and prayers are with you, your family and your brother. I would like to know what you think would have happened to your brother if you had not got him out of the prison he was in? I really hope with all my heart that your brother will be allowed to return to the UK and that when he does he will not be persecuted. I will pray that God gives you and him whatever you may desire.
Amrita Ohbi, United Kingdom


I could not believe the BBC correspondent seemed to sit in awe of this man

Paul Taylor
Who funded the cost of this programme, who paid for the satellite phone for the terrorist drug addict to phone his mum. He admitted to fighting for the Taleban. Oh he thought it was against the Russians, well that makes it all right then. I could not believe the BBC correspondent seemed to sit in awe of this man. We have our own British Royal Marines out there now. I'm not a loony. Just a family man who like every other normal human has been affected in his everyday life by Sept 11th. I'm not prepared to pay my licence fee to fund this type of programme.
Paul Taylor

It is a very moving story and I would like to congratulate Sue Lloyd-Roberts for the programme. I hope that Ajmal Khan will succeed in getting his brother back to Britain.
Dr. S. Shivananda, The Netherlands

The programme illustrates the dangers when "Right thinking people" allow their wishes to over-ride experience. The multi-racial society was an illusion mainly held in so called seats of learning, and around the dinner tables of people who came to the world with ready made opinions and little or no experience. Until these self appointed experts say those wonderful words there will be no hope. Burnley is evidence that British policy has been fatally flawed for forty years. The words are, "We were wrong"
Ken Booth, Lancs.


This evening's excellent programme was worth the license fee in itself

Dave
Hi, I agree with Ajmal's comment that there may be / is an element of racism in what the UK government have or have not been doing to secure the release of UK nationals held in Afghanistan, Camp X-ray and Pakistan. What can I as a concerned UK citizen do to help secure their release? This evening's excellent programme was worth the license fee in itself.
Dave

I feel sympathy for his brother and his immediate family, he should be brought to trial on a charge of treason. If such a charge were laid it would be better for him if it heard within the framework of Western Law rather than that of Shariah Law. There can be no sympathy for someone who, in any way, supports those who caused the devastation of the lives of so many families within or outside Afganistan.
DeeBee.

I was born in Manchester in 1951 I was not accepted by the Irish community or the English one. To one I was a half-breed and to the other a threat. My heart goes out to those people who look different by way of their colour or the way they behave differently because of their religious or other cultural beliefs. I was able to live the Lie because our cultures were so similar and I am white. In the name of whatever God helps the misunderstood let Anwar come home and be with his family.
Anon


As a Christian I am called to love my fellow man and woman. I don't have to like their behaviour. I think this is the case with most religions

Margie
The people involved in this programme seem to have no shame, in that this person had betrayed the United Kingdom and her people. Have they not stopped to think that the vast majority of people in this country do not want this traitor back? This country has been very good to this family and this is how they repay it (with treason). Also if this person is brought back to this country who again will they turn too, will it be the NHS to help him get over his health problems? The events of September 11 sadden me. As does the brothers story. As a Christian I am called to love my fellow man and woman. I don't have to like their behaviour. I think this is the case with most religions. Perhaps I am wrong about that. I pray that the young brother is reunited with his family in England soon. There has been enough death and sadness because of the opinion of a few people.
Margie

I would like to Ajmal and his family warmest regards and heart felt wish that their youngest son should soon be back with his family, safe and well. Ajmal, you are a brave man and what you did for your brother should be commended. Tell your mother & father that they should never give up hope and that the bravery of your actions should give them that hope that their son will be with them again. I am not a Muslim you may have guessed already, just a person, living in this country who knows that every situation is not just black and white, and I'm glad that I saw this programme and that I have a thirst to hear what is behind every headline. May you God be with you.
Tricia Hard, England

Why or how does he assume he still has a home? He gave up all rights to be British or Live in the United Kingdom by his own actions, as did they all.
Terry Garrod

Interesting though tonight's programme undoubtedly was the lack of in-depth questioning of the Taleban fighter and his brother by Sue Lloyd-Roberts left a significant void. In particular the assumption by the brother that Anwar should be brought back to England - presumably so that the State could once more look after him - after he had actively sided with a hostile regime merited much tougher questioning. The fact that 'rights' also confer responsibilities should have been brought out much more strongly.
Bruce Lewis

I was deeply offended and disappointed in the slanted reporting of your latest programme, which aired Sunday 24th March at 7:00PM. Your presenter failed to ask any hard hitting questions, was sycophantic, and really rather pathetic when it came to trying to understand why a British citizen would support such a treacherous regime. I could not believe - not one question was asked regarding how this fighter felt about the treatment of women by such a regime. However the BBC's position which inferred that these poor innocent boys were just manipulated by the big, bad Taleban and shouldn't we be tear sick that they now have to answer for the terrible decision they made It is inexcusable that these boys exposed to the freedoms of the West, turn to such oppressive regimes. Let me remind you that as a liberal, homosexuals and women are not treated well by the Taleban. Why didn't your correspondent question this boy about his views on the rights of these groups? Wouldn't have fit your biased viewpoint I suppose.

You should be ashamed!
Stuart Walsh

Not surprisingly a gullible to the point of ridiculousness or more likely the usual anti British bias of panorama.(while our marines are out there and people like him are shooting at them!!!) It's obvious he is someone who is happy to take up arms against Britain and probably will do a couple of years down the line when race relations deteriorate to the point of 'civil' war. No, he should remain in Pakistan as he is 'British' in technical terms only. Pathetic 'Journalism'.
Kevin.

It seemed to me that the act of sending Anwar to Pakistan was a mistake in the first place. Would it of not been far more sensible with professional help, to attempt to solve his drug problems etc in the UK? Did his mental well being at the time, contribute to the unfortunate predicament he finds himself in now?
Jamil Nawaz, UK

Why does he even think he has the right to come back to the U.K.? He should be sent back to Afghanistan. He no longer belongs here.
Gary U.K.


Ajmal, where do you think Anwar hopes to live when Pakistan releases him, it seems he's not welcome there or in Afganistan. He's certainly not welcome back in the UK

Mark Crawshaw
Ajmal, where do you think Anwar hopes to live when Pakistan releases him, it seems he's not welcome there or in Afganistan. He's certainly not welcome back in the UK. He's a traitor I'm afraid, he enjoyed being a bully of the Afgans and only regretted it when he got caught, what will he do?
Mark Crawshaw, U.K.

I would like to give my salaam to Ajmal, and to his family. I ask him to remember that what God wills happens and we must all be steadfast, and patient, and put our faith in God. I have some questions regarding Anwar being arrested in Pakistan - under what charge is he held? He was a prisoner of the Afghan Government before September 11, and well before if I understand the situation correctly, so what justification are the Pakistani's giving? Also, with what crimes are they able to charge Anwar with? Finally, Anwar is a British citizen, so should he not be allowed to be dealt with by the British authorities? Does he have any legal representation in Pakistan and is he entitled to any?
Ma'Salama Shahb Richyal, UK

What good did the Taleban do for their country? Or were they 'pure evil' and incapable of doing good? Were they better than the Northern Alliance?
Abid Siddiq, Canada

We do not want these type of people in the UK. Don't let them back in
Barry Honis,


Your brother made choices, as we all do in life.

Tom, Cleveland, Ohio USA
I believe that many persons, myself included, feel sorrow for your family tragedy. Your brother made choices, as we all do in life. Unfortunately, his choices were poor. Whom do you blame other than your brother for his correct situation, and why? Are all individuals who make poor choices in life regarded as victims?
Tom, Cleveland, Ohio USA

So Anwar was released because he was 'British'. He was innocent because he fought 'before' 11 September.. What about the Thousands of other Taleban Soldiers who fought 'before' 11 September as well.. Are they all going to be tortured because they are not 'British'. We fail to realise that there were thousands of other Taleban soldiers who were fighting not because of 'hate' of America, but for feeding their families. Since when has 'feeding' your families been associated with 'terrorism' against the United States??
Omar Usman Khan Marwat, Pakistan..

I would just like to say that what I watched on BBC2 yesterday was unbelievable. The way Anwar claimed he had been 'forced' into the Taleban is such a lie. It was known in Burnley that he was going around saying he was going to join the Taleban when he went there. So to many people they were not surprised when he did. This Anwar is a nuisance and should be dealt with accordingly. He calls himself a Muslim, but in Burnley in many peoples eyes he is not a Muslim. This Anwar is a criminal, he even was involved in a kidnapping and robbery in Hong Kong, where their other family is supposed to be doing good there. Then why did he do such crimes I ask you? He knew what he was getting in to, and if you think he was 'alright' then I just feel justice won't be done.
Concerned, Burnley, England.

I watched the programme and was deeply moved. My husband and I entirely support Ajmal in his efforts to get Anwar released. He's a young man - doing typical young man things and learnt a bitter lesson. If we can help in any way we will. We are white and live in the heart of rural England.
Geraldine Annis, England


I thought last night's programme extraordinarily affecting and powerful; may I also say how much I admire Ajmal Khan's courage and optimism

Catherine Anderson, London
I thought last night's programme extraordinarily affecting and powerful; may I also say how much I admire Ajmal Khan's courage and optimism in the face of his brother's plight - and, of course, Anwar's strength. A couple of questions: Won't Anwar's eventual re-integration back into Burnley society be extremely difficult, not only given the current climate of rioting fuelled by latent religious feeling in Muslim communities? How will the community receive him? Are Anwar and his family worried about this? And, secondly, has the British foreign office given any support for Anwar's release?
Catherine Anderson, London

Sue did a praiseworthy job of helping the brothers to reunite. It would have been extremely difficult and risky for Ajmal Khan to meet his brother had he gone alone . It is irony how young people from abroad like Akram Khan were pushed to the front line by the Taleban leadership, who themselves fled or where released by their fellow Afghans. Behind this saga, Sue's presentation of the web of events surrounding the whole story is definitely praiseworthy and worth narrating. Good Job done!
Tahir Sufi, Sheffield,

This was an excellent, thought provoking programme for which the BBC should be applauded. Whilst watching I felt both a genuine sadness for the plight of the Khan family, but also anger and frustration at Anwar's stupidity and lack of understanding. My question to Amjal is : Did he ever ask Anwar if he (Anwar), knew that local Afghan people who were not aligned to the Taliban were hostile to Pakistani and other foreigners who came into the country, joined the Taliban and effectively "lorded" it over the locals. If he did know this was the truth in reality. Then why did he not return to Pakistan at the first opportunity? Or did he choose to stay in Afghanistan because he had a better lifestyle than that in Pakistan?
Neil Harding.

Just to say the programme was great and showed us how British citizens have been lured into fighting and joining the Taliban it was nice to see how the reporters followed the story.
Zubada, Birmingham


People like you condemn the Taliban for bringing peace to Afghanistan, yet congratulate the Americans and the British for murdering our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and civilians.

Anon
On the phone to the ambassador situated in England, you said, and I quote, "I have come to your beautiful country" What is that? A joke? Afghanistan is the home of the Pashtun, just because some man made durrand line has been placed there does not mean that the brothers over the border are not Afghans. Secondly, you term the Taliban, who are at this very moment fighting for our freedom, as fundamentalists. These people are being massacred by the Tajiks, and their allies consisting of America and Britain, who are travelling to our country, and killing our people. I suggest you search your soul and find some of that Pashtun "gherat". Something you are most definitely lacking in. People like you condemn the Taliban for bringing peace to Afghanistan, yet congratulate the Americans and the British for murdering our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and civilians. You shame Muslims and you shame Pashtuns, the world over. People who stand and watch while innocents are killed for the pleasure of the kuffar.
Anon


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