IMMIGRATION authorities have been branded "callous" for denying a woman a visa to visit her Bradford-based husband who is on a life support machine after being attacked.

Haq Nawaz Rasool, 38, of Toller Lane, Heaton, was assaulted by a group of men as he locked up his take-away business about six weeks ago and remains in a critical condition in hospital, where doctors have told relatives a recovery could take years.

But his wife of two years, Rizwana Siddique, who lives in Pakistan, has been refused an application for three months' access to the UK even though a relative has offered up to £40,000 surety that she would comply with the restrictions surrounding her access.

Mr Rasool, who was born in Kashmir but has lived in Bradford for the last 35 years, had been married for two years and made regular trips to Pakistan to see his wife, who cares for her father in that country.

The surety was offered by Mohammed Ramzan, Mr Rasool's uncle, who is also a businessman.

He told the T&A: "This is a terrible situation for his wife. It is a compassionate visit.

"There is no need for her to come here to live, she is happy there.

"Her father is poorly and she looks after him.

"They have said they are not satisfied her circumstances are as indicated or that she could maintain herself without public funds.

"But I am sponsoring her to come over here."

Following the incident where Mr Rasool was injured, outside his business in Wakefield on December 13 last year, he has been detained at the Leeds General Infirmary where doctors have had to remove part of his skull to relieve pressure on his brain.

Mr Ramzan said he had not yet regained consciousness and the only sign of recovery so far was that he had started to blink an eye, though doctors have warned any recovery is expected to be a long process.

Now Bradford West MP George Galloway has written to the immigration authorities, urging them to reverse the "despicable" decision.

His scathing letter says: "Those with even a smidgeon of heart, clearly absent in this case, will appreciate that his wife wanted desperately to visit him and still does.

"In almost 30 years in Parliament I have dealt with many immigration matters but I have rarely come across one as callous and unreasonable as that concerning Rizwana Siddique.

"Your anonymous entry clearance officer JN, while agreeing that there are compassionate circumstances 'and that your British husband is in a critical condition', nonetheless concludes that he doesn't believe Mr Rasool's wife is genuinely seeking entry or that she intends to leave at the end of the period of the visa.

"I trust that this despicable decision will be reversed and that Ms Siddique will be allowed into the country urgently for the three-month period."

Mr Galloway said he believed the decision had been taken on race grounds - but the Home Office said such decisions were not based on the race of the applicant or their country or origin.

A spokesman for Mr Galloway said he believed the reason Mrs Siddique needed a visa to visit her husband was twofold; firstly that it was an Islamic marriage and secondly that marrying a British citizen no longer gave the spouse an automatic right to access the UK.

The refusal of entry clearance document, produced by the UK Visas and Immigration, gives their decision for the refusal of Ms Siddique's application.

A copy of this document, seen by the Telegraph & Argus, was given to Mr Rasool's family.

It says: "I have used all of the information provided by you to determine if the immigration rules have been met.

"I am aware of the compassionate circumstances surrounding your application and that your British husband is in a critical condition.

"I have considered the evidence provided and written statements you have made, but I am not satisfied you have met the requirements of the immigration rules on this occasion."

A Home Office spokesman said: "Immigration decisions are based not on the race of the applicant, nor on their country of origin, but on the strength of the application and the requirements of the rules.

“We do not routinely comment on individual cases but all visa applications are considered on their individual merits, including any compelling and compassionate circumstances, and in line with the immigration rules.

“The onus is on the individual to provide the necessary evidence to support their application.”

Three men have been arrested and bailed on suspicion of assault on Mr Rasool. They are a 20-year-old, of Liversedge, a 21-year-old, of Mirfield, and 22-year-old, of Leeds.

A fourth man, Joshua Balmforth, 20, of Mortimer Street, Batley, has been charged with grievous bodily harm and has been bailed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Wakefield CID via 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.