New UK English language rules discriminatory
New UK rules discriminatory for immigrants
London, June 10: Immigration campaigners have expressed fears that the new English
language tests would disproportionately target spouses and partners, hailing
from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, but a key cabinet minister says the
immigrants have everything to gain from the new rules.
co-chair and Lib-Lab coalition government cabinet member Sayeeda Warsi hailed
the new English test rules compulsory for immigrants from outside the European
Union who marry British citizens and move to the UK.
Warsi welcomed the
new, fast-tracked package and said it would go a long way in strengthening the
communities and dismissed fears expressed by some groups that these rules may
disproportionately target some ethnic communities and may prove to be too harsh.
The applicants will have to show their grasp of English, at least at the
level of five to seven-year-old.
"It's all a gain-gain situation as the
very basic level English language test will go on to benefit and empower those
who want to come and live in the UK. It's all for their benefit and will help
them in multiple ways to obtain jobs, communicate better, be better parents and
useful members of the society," Warsi said.
According to the
government statistics, last year, some 38,000 visas for spouses were granted and
a further 21,000 people were granted indefinite leave to remain. The new
measures are going to have a particular impact on South Asians communities --
Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi -- who make up a large proportion of these
figures. British Asians continue to retain strong blood and cultural relations
with their countries of origin.
The campaigners have expressed their
opposition to the new measures. Hina Majid of the Joint Council for the Welfare
of Immigrants said she supported helping immigrants to learn English, but the
plans were discriminatory. "It's unnecessary, it's costly and it will tear
migrant families apart."
Don Flynn, from the Migrants' Rights Network,
said the benefits of learning English were obvious but couples should not be
penalised for wanting to be together. Isabella Sankey, of Liberty, labelled the
news 'disgraceful' and said some people may be unfairly penalised.
statement the Liberty said: "While a good command of English is
clearly beneficial for someone settling in the UK with their partner or spouse,
making this a prerequisite to entering the country is disgraceful."
rules will apply to spouses, fiancees and unmarried couples who already live in
Britain as well as new applicants. UK Home Secretary Theresa May said being able
to speak English was a pre-requisite for anyone wanting to settle in
"The new English requirement for spouses will help promote
integration, remove cultural barriers and protect public services," she said in
May said the measures were a first step in tightening up
English language requirements across the visa system.
Warsi said the
level of English test was seat at a basic and easy level and fears that it will
keep the family members apart were unfounded because the news rules are aimed
helping those men and women, who plan to make Britain their home and its only
right that learned the language and make their life easier.
There will be
no strain on relationships that sets in because of the lack of communication. It
will enable the new arrivals at a practical level to go to doctor on their own,
communicate to teachers and community workers and be able to understand what
their children are talking about.
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Student's rustication on marriage
Peshawar: A two-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) Wednesday put the
principal and board of governors of the Peshawar Model School on notice in a
case challenging the rustication of a student by the school administration for
When the bench, comprising Justice Syed Sajjad Hussain
Shah and Justice Yahya Afridi, took up the case for hearing, the petitioner's
lawyer Muhammad Isa Khan contended that the school administration had expelled
the student only because he got married. He said it was unlawful and had put the
educational future of the student at stake.
The bench remarked that
rusticating a student just because he got married was against the fundamental
rights guaranteed in the Constitution, adding that the government should form a
regulatory authority for the private institutions to stop them from committing
The petitioner, Ghairat Khan, stated that he had been a
student of the Peshawar Model School for many years and was promoted to 7th
grade in the current academic year. He said his father had died and presently he
was living with his aged mother who was ill and was unable to do the house
The petitioner claimed that he entered into wedlock as per the
permission and desire of his mother and other relatives. The student said that
after his marriage, the Peshawar Model School (Boys-III), Ring Road branch
principal expelled him from the school by handing him a certificate.
petitioner's lawyer raised various questions in the petition, stating that there
was no law whatsoever in vogue in the country that may empower the respondents
to expel the student for the sole reason of his marriage and thus the impugned
action was unlawful.
Secondly, he added, the student was a Muslim and
under the Islamic law, he could contract marriage on his own if he had reached
the age of puberty. It was stated in the petition that according to Shariah, a
minor could also enter into marriage with the consent and intervention of a
A reference of Section-270 of Muhammadan Law (marriage of a
minor) was also given in the petition, which reads: "A boy or a girl who has not
attained puberty (in this part called minor), is not competent to enter into a
contract of marriage, but he or she may be contracted in marriage by his or her
Further, it was stated in the petition that there were a
number of students of the same school who were married and carrying on with
their schooling without any hindrance, but it was astonishing that the school
administration had taken action only against his client. He said the action
taken against the student by the school administration was discriminative in
nature and against Article 4 of the Constitution. The student requested the
court to set aside the school administration's order of his expulsion on the
basis of being married and issue directives to the respondents to let him
continue education in the school.
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PkSF protests against VC
Peshawar: Pakhtun Students Federation (PkSF) of Agricultural University Wednesday staged protest against
the vice chancellor for his alleged highhandedness against students. The
protesters led by Lal Zaman, PkSF president for the Agricultural University
chapter, staged a rally outside the Peshawar Press Club. They were carrying
banners and placards inscribed with slogans "Remove Khan Bahadur, Save the
Agricultural University." Lal Zaman alleged that Dr Khan Bahadur was promoting
Talibanisation in the university as he had links with Taliban. He criticised the
vice chancellor for registering an FIR against the students and imposing heavy
fine on them. The news
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