Pakistan denies abduction claim after London bombings

Pakistan’s interior minister today denied claims that 27 Pakistani nationals were abducted in Greece and interrogated by British agents in the aftermath of the July 7 London bombings.

Pakistan’s interior minister today denied claims that 27 Pakistani nationals were abducted in Greece and interrogated by British agents in the aftermath of the July 7 London bombings.

Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, in Athens to attend a conference on immigration, said Pakistan’s ambassador in Greece had received no official complaint regarding the claims.

“So far he has had no response, which means that no such incident has happened,” the minister said. “We have a large community of Pakistanis here in Greece, and they are law-abiding citizens.”

Officials in Greece and Britain have also denied the allegations.

On Tuesday, Athens lawyer Frangiskos Ragoussis submitted a report to parliament on the alleged abductions and urged lawmakers to investigate.

The July 7 terrorist attacks on three tube trains and a bus in London killed 56 people, including four suicide bombers. The assailants included Britons of Pakistani descent.

“My belief is that Greek authorities in collaboration with British agents undertook this secret operation with the sole purpose of determining what was the connection of Pakistanis who live in London with these terrorist activities,” the lawyer said.

Ragoussis represents seven Pakistanis allegedly abducted in Athens in mid-July; he said another 20 people were seized in other parts of the country. He says they were interrogated for several days before being released.

Some 30,000 Pakistani immigrants live in Greece.

A Greek prosecutor has ordered a preliminary investigation, a limited procedure. But opposition parties have called for a full invesigation.

On Friday, the head of the small Left Coalition party, Alekos Alavanos, demanded to be briefed on the matter by Prime Minister Costas Caramanlis.

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