TORONTO — A Pakistani man the federal government accuses of plotting to bomb downtown Toronto has reached out to his country for help in securing his release from detention.
The request by Jahanzeb Malik comes in a letter to Pakistan’s consulate general through his lawyer.
“As a Pakistani national, Mr. Malik has asked us to reach out and secure any assistance you may be in a position to advance,” Anser Farooq writes on behalf of his client.
“This assistance can be in the form of financial, and/or bonds person’s required to secure his release from detention.”
Canada Border Services Agency arrested Malik, 33, on March 9 following an undercover investigation amid government accusations that he supports the Islamic State and planned to attack the U.S. consulate and other financial district buildings.
The permanent resident of Canada remains in detention in expectation the government will move to declare him inadmissible and deport him — a process that could take months — rather than prosecute him.
At previous detention reviews — in which no one came forward to act as a surety — the government’s lawyer declared Malik to be a flight and security risk.
“The outcome of Mr. Malik’s inadmissibility hearing should be of the highest priority to your government,” Farooq wrote in the letter sent to the consulate last month.
No one from Pakistan’s consulate general in Toronto nor its high commission in Ottawa returned calls seeking comment.
Farooq would also not comment on the request, which also asks for help in “securing safe passage and resettlement of Mr. Malik in Pakistan.”
Malik, who is incarcerated in jail in Lindsay, Ont., is slated for another detention review before the Immigration and Refugee Board via videolink on April 14.
At his last hearing, a federal lawyer said the government was still gathering evidence related to Malik’s possible inadmissibility on security grounds.
So far, no evidence has been presented but the government also alleges Malik, a flooring contractor, supports al-Qaida and planned to video his bomb attacks as an inspiration to others.
The government has refused to explain why it opted to use immigration rather than criminal law against the divorced father of two who came to Canada more than a decade ago as a student.
Farooq has told The Canadian Press that it is “absurd” to deport someone authorities argue is dangerous.