Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Where's George?

I reported last week that George Galloway was planning to fly to Pakistan to beg for the life of a prisoner there. The man was sentenced to death by an Islamic court even thought the High Court of Pakistan quashed his conviction. The President says he cannot interfere with the Islamic courts.

Earlier, Islamic groups MPACUK and IHRC had called for his release. The irony of the situation is surely not lost on anyone, despite the tragic circumstances.

But, now it seems that George has gone missing. Last week, the BBC had a whole page article about George's heroic mission to Pakistan. On Monday, the BBC quietly informed us that he was due to fly out that day. But today, when the BBC reports that an execution date has been sent, there isn't even a mention of him.

Where has George gone?

UPDATE: The mystery is solved. In yet another article in the BBC all is revealed:

Respect Party MP George Galloway had planned to fly to Pakistan on Monday to appeal directly to the president to quash the penalty, but cancelled the trip at the request of Mr Hussain's family. A spokesman for Mr Galloway said the MP continued to "support every effort that the family is making" and was still prepared to travel to the country "should it be felt all round that it would advance things".

Just one small point. When George first said he was going he told the BBC it was because "Mr Hussain's family and friends have prevailed upon me to intervene and I do so gladly."

What exactly is going on?