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Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 15:10 GMT
Consul visits jailed charity worker
Tora Bora mountain range
The arrest is believed to have been near Tora Bora
A Scottish charity worker being held in prison in Pakistan has been visited by British consular officials.

James McLintock, from Dundee, is reported to have been handed over to the authorities before Christmas by American officials, who originally thought he was a member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

Mr McLintock, a Muslim convert, faces three years in prison for being found in a restricted area of Afghanistan without permission.

A Scottish National Party MP has said he is "very worried" that Mr McLintock's did not receive any firm information about their son for almost a month.

SNP MSP Mike Weir
Mike Weir: "Anxious family"
Consular officials said Mr McLintock was in good health and has no complaints about his treatment.

At this stage, he has not been charged with any crime and officials are pressing Pakistan for more information about Mr McLintock's case.

Mike Weir, SNP MP for Angus where Mr McLintock's parents live, said: "It is good news that they have seen him and that he appears in good health.

"But we still don't have answers to our other questions, particularly regarding charges.

Held without charge

"We need to know if he has been charged and, if not, why he is being held without charge for so long.

"We are still waiting on answers to these questions."

Mr Weir said it seemed strange that a month after his arrest, the family had not received any information about their son.

He has lodged a series of parliamentary questions and an Early Day Motion (EDM) at Westminster in an attempt to find out more about the case.

Basic facts

Pakistani prosecutors are thought to be considering charging Mr McLintock - who changed his name to Yaqub Mohammed when he converted to Islam in 1980s - with breaching laws which prohibit travel in sensitive areas.

The MP has previously approached the Foreign Office and the prime minister's office in to get information for Mr McLintock's parents Iain, a former Labour Councillor and Dundee University lecturer, and Margaret.

Mr Weir said: "I understand from the Foreign Office that members of the UK High Commission in Islamabad had spoken to Mr McLintock last Wednesday, but when asked where he was being held they could not give us that information."

The MP said it "seemed strange" that almost a month after his arrest the government had been unable to get basic facts from Pakistan on his case.

Foreign Office
The Foreign Office has contacted Mr McLintock's father
He said: "It is very worrying that you are dealing with a member of the Commonwealth, a country to which the UK has very close ties, and presumably there must be a great deal of contact in the present situation, yet we are unable to get any concrete information whatsoever on Mr McLintock's case."

Mr and Mrs McLintock were "extremely concerned" about their son, he added.

Mr McLintock, 37, is believed to have been arrested on Christmas Eve at a checkpoint south of the Taleban's Tora Bora mountain range hideout in Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border.

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Mike Weir, SNP MP for Angus
"His parents are very worried"
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