The family of a British-Pakistani grandfather held in a Rawalpindi jail on blasphemy charges have called on David Cameron to intervene after the man was shot by a prison officer inside the prison.
Muhammad Asghar, 70, was injured in the shooting at the Adiyala prison in the northern Pakistani city, while another man – local Christian pastor Zafar Bhatti who was also on death for blasphemy – was killed.
Mr Asghar, a successful businessman from Edinburgh, was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to death in January after he was accused of declaring himself a prophet by a disgruntled tenant living at a property owned by Mr Asghar’s family.
Mr Asghar had previously been detained under the UK’s mental health act and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
He had been held at the prison pending an appeal against his death sentence.
His daughter Jasmine Rana told reporters in Glasgow that it was her “worst nightmare come true”. Mr Asghar is said to be in a stable condition in hospital.
At a news conference in Glasgow, his family’s lawyer Aamer Anwar said Mr Asghar had been lying in bed in his prison cell on Thursday morning when he heard a commotion.
“He was shot as he turned around to see what was happening”.
Prison officials say that a jail employee has been arrested over the incident.
The British High Commission in Islamabad said in a statement: “We can confirm that a British national has been injured in prison in Pakistan. We are providing consular assistance.”
Mr Anwar said the family was urging Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene directly on behalf of Mr Asghar to arrange his return to Scotland pending the appeals process which could take up to five years.
“The Asghar family will hold David Cameron personally responsible if Mr Asghar were to die,” he said.
British politicians and activists have been campaigning for his release, urging the Pakistani government to intervene in his case so he can be treated.
Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan. Although Mr Asghar was on death row, Pakistan has had a de facto moratorium on civilian hangings since 2008.
Christian pastor Bhatti was on trial after an Islamic leader accused him in 2012 of sending text messages deemed derogatory to the Prophet Mohammed’s mother.
His family said police investigations showed the phone was registered to someone else.
In recent weeks, Bhatti had received death threats in prison from both inmates and guards, his family told Pakistan-based human rights group Life for All.
He was being held in the same cell as Asghar.
Bhatti was known for working to protect the human rights of Pakistan’s beleaguered Christian minority.
Last week, gunmen shot dead a university professor in Karachi known for his liberal views on Islam who had been labelled a “blasphemer” in a text message campaign.