Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed briefly detained at Houston airport

Published: June 28, 2012

It was unclear why Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was detained.

WASHINGTON: Awami Muslim League leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed was briefly detained at the Houston airport after he landed in the city on Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Embassy in Washington told The Express Tribune that Ambassador Sherry Rehman has directed Pakistan’s Consul General in Houston to take up the issue of Rasheed’s detention with US authorities.

The spokesperson added that the Embassy has raised the matter with the State Department. Details on why Sheikh Rasheed has been detained were not immediately available.

Sheikh Rasheed was allowed to leave from the airport after a few hours. According to the spokesperson, he was questioned during his detention but was not given a reason on why he had been detained.

Ambassador Rehman in a subsequent tweet said that she had spoken with Sheikh Rasheed on the phone and that he was well. She added that the Rawalpindi based politician has been accompanied out of the airport by the Pakistan Consul General in Houston Aqil Nadeem.

Rasheed informed the media that his phones were confiscated and all the data was obtained from it by the airport authorities.

He said that Rehman was continuously in contact with him and she also criticised the behaviour of the authorities. She also protested that the phones were Rasheed’s personal property and that they should not have been taken away from him.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Umer
    Jun 28, 2012 - 7:50AM

    Why is his issue being taken up specially by the consulate? He is an ordinary citizen and should be treated as any other Pakistani citizen.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Jun 28, 2012 - 7:53AM

    He abuses US and still goes there. Rightly he deserved this treatment. Ideal would have been to pack him back to Pakistan.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:02AM

    US was looking for info. on Hafiz Saeed from Sheikh Rasheed ???????

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:02AM

    But this person is extremist in his views. In fact some of his views can be clearly seen as open support to violent jihad.

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  • baligh bacha
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:21AM

    poor soul!!

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  • Butt
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:25AM

    Now you will need another apology.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:35AM

    Why he went there?

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  • Yaida M
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:46AM

    Anyone with a Muslim name is detained at the airport and it is not restricted to the US alone. Even the great SRK was detained for which the US apologized later. I don’t think the Americans will be apologizing to Sheikh Rasheed.

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  • Hammad
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:02AM

    So what would be a better reply? Win from Rawalpindi, get into the government and hold the Americans for ‘few hours’ at Chaklala or by then the Fateh Jhang and have them the same taste.

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  • ayesha_khan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:04AM

    When this happened to Shah Rukh Khan, Indian foreign minister asked for and received an apology. Let us see if your country’s foreign office can successfully speak on behalf of its citizens.

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  • shah
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:06AM

    miss sherry rehman, please improve the working of pakistan consulates in usa, they need a lot of work!!the common pakistani deserves equal treatment!!

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  • Wellwisher
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:08AM

    He had openly admited to training kashmiri sepertatists in arms and ammunitions training to fight Indian security forces while he was the minister of railways during musharaf’s regime. That was the reason he was and still is being denied visa to enter Indian Republic. Now what does he expect from the USA
    Rgds
    PRecommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:08AM

    Sheikh Rashid was detained for five long hours and not briefly as mentioned at the headline of this news item.

    Politicians of Pakistan talk against US and then they go over there for one reason or the other.

    US is not a place for the people who have big mouth.

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  • Hairaan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:11AM

    They may be suspecting he is hiding heroin under his jet black wig.

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  • Umar
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:26AM

    After blocking NATO supply route, did DPC send Sheikh Rashid to Huston to stop NASA supply route as well?

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  • Akhtar
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:40AM

    Expected move as he is member of DPC, a rogue organization soon to be banned. All these guys like Gul, Hamid and mullahs should be behind bars.

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  • Rana
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Sheikh Sb, congratulations for the privileged reception and guard of honor!! When it comes to our part, we feel it greatest pleasure & achievement to receive a low grade US official or a politician. Sham on our foreign office!!!

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:04AM

    Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed is not Shah Rukh Khan and doesn’t belong to India and Pakistan is never like India for USA.So Pakistani nation and leaders even never think that US’ airport or governmental officials shall apologize you for it whereas USA didn’t apologize to Pakistan for intentional,willful and wittingly Salala check post’s attack.How this possible that USA shall apologize on Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed’s matter?

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  • Mohd Butt
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:12AM

    @Yaida M:
    In pindi people were jubilant on the first news and sad on the second.

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  • Mehmood khan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:22AM

    US always does this with thier close ally.

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  • Jun 28, 2012 - 10:23AM

    Really Strange. Do the people in US not recognize such a great leader already known unversally??
    I sincerely hope that they keep him there permanantly !!!!

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  • Raj - USA
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:39AM

    During his last trip to USA just 2 – 3 months ago, Sheikh Rasheed was seated in a airplane on a local flight from Chicago. The American Passenger seated next to him asked the airline staff to change his seat and was moved to another seat. Sheikh Rasheed asked the American why he wanted to move to a different seat for which the American replied that “he did not want to be seated next to a Pakistani”. I watched a recent TV Talk show where Sheikh Rasheed himself disclosed this, at least twice, and commented that the Americans hate Pakistanis.

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  • Rana
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:53AM

    Sheikh Sb, congratulations for the privileged reception and guard of honor!! When it comes to our part, we feel it greatest pleasure & achievement to receive a low grade US official or a politician. Sham on our foreign office!!

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  • labeeb
    Jun 28, 2012 - 10:54AM

    This is the same Sheikh Rasheed who threatened about the coming 300-400 suicide bombers if NATO supply root is opened,now what is wrong with such treatment actually he deserved this.

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  • sher-e-ali
    Jun 28, 2012 - 11:05AM

    @Umer:
    He is 8 times former minister and as you might know, people who serve as federal minister even for a brief stint get diplomatic passports. Will not be surprised that if he carries one and that may be the reason for involvement of Pakistani Consulate. Even if he is just an ordinary citizen, its a good sign that under Sherry Rehman, things are improving. Compare this to Haqqani ‘s time.

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  • Aamer Hafeez
    Jun 28, 2012 - 11:17AM

    Please keep him as a gift from us one less politician to worry about

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  • Wellwisher
    Jun 28, 2012 - 11:26AM

    Also, continuing from previous mail. He must have been accidently allowed into the country without having a background check on him which it does usually. On realising the folly, the USA administration must have detained him and may be, will be soon deport him back to his HOMELAND. or one more conspiracy theory is he could have been detained to be shamed in the media. Atleast I my self have seen him being pictured with the DPC members on stage. What you sow, so shall you reap…
    Rgds
    P

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  • Furqan Khan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 11:41AM

    Its not the first time when Muslims specially Pakistanis are being detained at the US airport. It is their usual practice to humiliate Muslims at their airports and scan them with extremely tough security checks becuase as a nation we don’t have any respect any where in the world….It is a bitter truth..Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:13PM

    This is a non issue.
    He is just a Pakistani by the name of sh Rasheed who has travelled to USA like thousands others who go there from around the world. They must have retained him on profiling and looks.
    He can decieve Pakistanis but cannot decieve all, at all times.

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  • Acorn Guts
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:21PM

    Well he does have relations with difae pakistan council. You’d be naive not to know what characters bless this council. I would pat down rasheed if he came to my house tbhRecommend

  • Imran Con
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:23PM

    I can’t find much sympathy for the man. Yeah, you can have your “everyone being treated equally” outrage. Governments probably wouldn’t disagree with the concept. But, this is what happens when you’re a loud mouth Taliban-style Jihad supporter and you also go to the countries you hate when you encounter the more common people who rank a fair amount lower on the power ladder.

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  • riz
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:46PM

    A discriminatory action from US authorities, Without any evidence; He should not be treated like this;

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  • Mj
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:53PM

    Ideally, he should’ve been imprisoned for cohorting with the DPC thugs.

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  • jun
    Jun 28, 2012 - 12:54PM

    its regular procedure

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  • Mohammed Arif
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:09PM

    He is ordinary or not, he was human and our great politician. The concerned persons should not only free him but also apologise him for harassment.

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  • khan
    Jun 28, 2012 - 4:46PM

    Isn’t he the guy who sits in Difa e Pakistan Council with banned organizations like LET, JUD, and other like it? against USA, India, Israel.
    what do you expect from the US Authorities? Recommend

  • Jun 28, 2012 - 5:00PM

    the attitude of us air port authorities is highly objectionable and irritable. this event indicates the level of mistrust and misconception of us pak relationship. as pakistani i must stress on the pakistani governmnet please throughly review our relationship with us and it must be based on merit so that such events of utmost insult can be avoided

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  • Anti-everything
    Jun 28, 2012 - 6:28PM

    These politicians are so pathetic! I saw him speaking against the US in DPC jalsa and now he’s on vocation in the same United States of America!

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  • Hafeez
    Jun 28, 2012 - 8:59PM

    I wish our consulate would be as attentive to a common Pakistani’s problems in foreign lands as well.

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  • resilient
    Jun 28, 2012 - 9:52PM

    @Umar:
    well said…..lolxx

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  • Romm
    Jun 29, 2012 - 12:11AM

    Opening of NATO supplies wil be delayed for another six months. no need to be offended by stupid act of US authorities.
    Indies must not forget that George Fernendas was forced to stipped off at GFK airport. yes, US authorites, do apologize after stripping Indian ministers.

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  • Sandip
    Jun 29, 2012 - 12:52AM

    @sher-e-ali: “Even if he is just an ordinary citizen, its a good sign that under Sherry Rehman, things are improving. Compare this to Haqqani ‘s time.”
    He is no ordinary citizen. He has the khakhis and their assorted assets behind him. If you are an ordinary citizen, then don’t bank on the consul general walking you out of the airport. But on second thoughts, if you are any ordinary citizen, you wouldn’t be flying to the US. You would be cursing the US based on what the likes of Sheikh and his ilk feed you.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jun 29, 2012 - 12:57AM

    As Sheikh Rashid says frequently: Every day is not Sunday. He was not detailed on Wednesday and should have known that it was not Sunday.

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  • Jim
    Jun 29, 2012 - 2:27AM

    This should and will be the fate of every Pakistani who supports terrorists and terrorism. If you are going to participate in the duffer-e-pak rallies, then stay at home and await eventual meeting with drones. If you want to come to America, believe in equality and diversity, even if you are anti-American for other reasons. Surprised that this terrorist supporter was allowed in eventually; obviously, the immigration folks at Houston had not seen his deaf-a-pakistan rally speeches and his support for terrorists like Hafiz Saeed.

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  • observer (UK)
    Jun 29, 2012 - 3:38AM

    So, Sheikh Rashid was detained by US immigration department or possibly by the Homeland Security and one wonders why? I am not sure which dress he was wearing?
    I suspect his hobnobbing with DPC may have been a factor and must have been tipped off by US intelligence from Pakistan. I don’t think it could be due to the Cuban cigars he may have been carrying . May be he argued with one of the officers there. Anyway, he may have been wondering if he had a dual nationality and was carrying an American or British passport. He probably would not have gone through this five hour long detention.

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  • rangacharya Kulakarni
    Jun 29, 2012 - 4:23AM

    Few Hours! No, it is 5 hours detention!

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Jun 29, 2012 - 7:19AM

    @Raj – USA:

    US was looking for info. on Hafiz
    Saeed from Sheikh Rasheed ???????

    Actually, he was questioned over his links with Hafiz. Strangely, ET doesn’t mention it.

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  • rafiq
    Jun 29, 2012 - 5:46PM

    i dont even know why we even bother to think visiting usa i just cant stand it after what we ve been through over the yeras

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  • rafiq
    Jun 29, 2012 - 5:51PM

    @Raj – USA:
    brriliant i lovt it and feelings are mutual by the way

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  • rafiq
    Jun 29, 2012 - 5:53PM

    after Ik become PM all american pakistani should come back and say by by to usa for good

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  • Mohammed Arif
    Jun 30, 2012 - 2:33PM

    Wonder on those stating why Sheikh Rasheed went to USA. I believe 100% Pakistanies never think positive about USA and keeping very hard line about USA but they never stop their immediate relatives to go to USA and even prefer to purchase the products from market “made in USA”. At that time they never think why we should purchase USA products when we don’t like Americans and America. Further, if they are given a chance to visit USA, they will rush to USA Embassy for visa ignoring what they think about USA. Shaikh Rasheed always hate the policies of USA not the people of USA, and like each politician he has right to visit USA for any reason specially to meet Pakistani community or for any other reason.. Recommend

  • Sardar KHAN
    Jun 30, 2012 - 8:36PM

    @Umer:
    He is a Pakistani citizen and deserves the counslate/embassy servicise if needed.No harm in it.Americans must respect the personal views of other person’s,as they always hide themselves behind free speech slogan.Or it is only suitable for american citizens only.

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  • Mohammed Arif
    Jul 1, 2012 - 2:14PM

    Rafiq Sb. very dangerous opinion, it needs not less than 10-15 years to change the nation, however, in any case non of Pakistani abroad should come to Pakistan as in 1st instance jobless people should get job. By the way do u think IK has Oil Wells which will give our people jobs soon after he become PM. Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Jul 2, 2012 - 7:37AM

    What is he doing in the country against whom he and his cohorts at DPC have 300 to 400 suicide bombers ready?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YptFa9NV2AE
    And, why on earth is Pakistan’s government/embassy protecting him? After saying it ‘on record’ on national TV that 300 to 400 suicide bombers are ready, he should have been put through hours/days of questioning in Pakistan instead of him roaming free and flying to the very enemy’s territory that he is busy spreading venom against.

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  • wlie8
    Jul 2, 2012 - 3:41PM

    Its their Country, and their laws, they can detain whoever they want to. You don’t like it or got an issue with how they do things over there, simple solution, DON’T GO!!Recommend

  • Jul 2, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Even after knowing well the background of Sheikh Rashid visa was granted to him by US embassy must be purposefully.. US immigrant/security official must have asked him the questions which they can’t ask in Pakistan. I am sure he will be under American surveillance during his stay at US.

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  • Mohammed Arif
    Jul 2, 2012 - 5:23PM

    Sharma, certainly you are not aware of international law on humanrights. Shaikh Rasheed has been a senior pariamentarian and was an important Minister. He is internationally recognized a politician, not a figure from Indian Film Industry.

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  • Jul 3, 2012 - 4:27AM

    @Sheikh Rashid
    They don’t make many like you.

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  • khan
    Jul 8, 2012 - 8:52PM

    ordinary person, but Respected person and highprofile, so he deserve to be respect. when you travel next time and face the same the issure than your comment, cause i know problem and have been through it.

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  • Sandip
    Jul 10, 2012 - 3:29AM

    @Mohammed Arif: Then why the crib? He got his due. As all politicians from Pakistan are internationally renowned as crooks.

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  • Mohd Butt
    Jul 11, 2012 - 12:16AM

    @Beatle:
    He will be ready to be taken, but Haqqani will not be happy as his position will be compromised, as SR is Smarter than Haqqani, as SR never cought were as Haqqani almost electrocuted himself and was holding the hand of Zer also. Zer hardly escaped.

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