A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals that denied asylum to a Pakistani citizen. The court found merit in his claim that he would be targeted for cooperating with General Pervez Musharraf's government if he's sent back home.
On Monday in Mustafa v. Holder, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted Ghulam Mustafa's petition for review of the appeals board's ruling and remanded the case.
Mustafa is a citizen of Pakistan and a member of the Nawaz faction of the Pakistani Muslim League. He seeks asylum for himself, his wife and three children.
Mustafa claimed that he fears retribution because he gave the Musharraf government financial and personal information about his former boss, Saifur Rehman, a former Pakistani senator and league member.
Musharraf came to power through a military coup in 1999 and was Pakistan's president from 2001 through 2008.
Rehman was briefly imprisoned for corruption before making a deal with the government.
Mustafa said he was threatened by a Rehman employee in 2002 and followed and harassed in 2003.
In October 2003, Mustafa and a friend were blocked by another car while driving in Pakistan. Armed men from the other car dragged Mustafa and his friend from their car and beat them for more than 20 minutes.
Mustafa claimed the men called him a "traitor" and warned him not to betray Rehman again. Mustafa was hospitalized after the beating and he claimed the police took no action.
Mustafa and his family came to the United States legally in November 2003, as non-immigrant visitors. In May 2004, he filed an application for asylum and withholding of removal, and he also sought protection under the Convention Against Torture at the Immigration Court.