Kashmiri rights’ campaigner charged with attempted rape of child

London: Pakistan’s main political backer in the UK, Lord Nazir Ahmed has been charged for sexually assaulting a boy and a girl in incidents that date back to the 1970s and is now expected to stand a trial.

Ahmed was already facing serious allegations of an extra-marital sexual relationship with a vulnerable woman. It was widely reported in British media on Friday that 61-year-old has been charged with two attempted rapes and one indecent assault.

The member of the House of Lords, Ahmed, has been charged with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault dating back to the 1970s and is due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on March 19.

He is alleged to have committed the offences when he was a teenager in Rotherham in the 1970s and is one of three men facing linked criminal charges.

Lord Ahmed joined the Labour party at age of 18 and became Rotherham’s first Asian councillor and youngest magistrate. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair appointed the father of three as a peer in 1998, making him one of the first Muslim to enter the Lords. He left Labour party in 2013 but remains a peer with no party affiliation.

Lord Ahmed is alleged to have indecently assaulted the boy in 1971-72, when he was 14 or 15, The Times, Asian Lite, Daily Mail and BBC reported.

He is also been accused of two attempted rapes in 1973-74 aged 16 or 17.

Two others accused in connection with the assaults. Mohamed Farooq, 68, faces four charges of indecent assault and Mohammed Tariq, 63, two indecent assault charges.

They are due before Sheffield magistrates on March 19.

Notably, on February 14, Ahmed was accused of exploiting his position to have sex with a vulnerable woman who came
to him for help. He was also alleged to have propositioned a second woman who sought assistance.

Lord Ahmed was once convicted and jailed in 2009 for texting while driving before a crash that killed a man. In his initial comments last night, he denied all allegations. He spent some time in prison before getting a bail-out.

According to a Newsnight report, Tahira Zaman, 43, told BBC’s Newsnight that she was suffering from anxiety and depression when she approached the peer in 2017 through a friend. She hoped Lord Ahmed would help get the police to investigate a Muslim faith healer she felt was a danger to women. British print and electronic media are flashing the story prominently.

Miss Zaman told Newsnight on Feb 14 that Lord Ahmed said he wrote a letter to Metropolitan Police chief Cressida Dick. The peer, who quit Labour after he was accused of anti-Semitism, went on to have sex with Miss Zaman on a number of occasions.

She accepted the relationship was consensual but said: ‘I was looking for help and he took advantage of me. He abused his power.’ She claimed the relationship ended two months later when Lord Ahmed told her he would not leave his wife. Miss Zaman said: ‘I genuinely did believe that he had feelings for me. I’m just so stupid … I believed that he was going to help me.’

Ahmed, a self-made champion of fundamental rights for Kashmiris, denied the charges of Tahira Zaman and his solicitor has written a letter to Richard Watson the host of BBC programme. So far no progress is reportedly made in connection with allegations and further proceedings.

Ahmed has been backed by Islamabad for campaigning on the so-called Kashmir issue.