A British Pakistani Liberal Democrat peer has defended his decision to smuggle an impoverished little boy to the UK in 1990, saying that whilst it was illegal, it was “morally the right thing to do”.
Kashmir-born Qurban Hussain, who is Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s adviser on diversity, is said to have lied to the British High Commission in Islamabad about the parentage of the then-two-year-old boy whose parents had pleaded with Mr Hussain’s wife to adopt him.
According to the Sunday Mirror, the youngster was given a British passport soon after he arrived as Lord Hussain – who had arrived in the UK in 1971 – was a British citizen.
Lord Hussain told the Mirror: “I know now it is illegal. I realise it was legally wrong but morally it was the right thing to do”.
The life peer described how the baby’s mother had “begged” his wife to adopt him.
“The child’s mother begged my wife to take him. You have never seen levels of poverty like this family lived in.”
Lord Hussain said that he and his wife were “proud” of their son who is a university graduate.
A number of MP’s have called for Lord Hussain to resign but he has refused saying his “conscience was clear”.
The Liberal Democrats are said to be investigating the matter.
Under House of Lords rules life peers cannot be kept out of the upper house of parliament but can be suspended.
Lord Hussain has previously been outspoken on issues of immigration, in particular illegal immigration.