01/28/2013 02:13 EST | Updated 03/30/2013 05:12 EDT

Montreal man avoids deportation to Pakistan

A Montreal man has been granted the right to remain in Canada despite immigration authorities' attempts to send him to Pakistan.

Sami Sheikh, 24, came to Canada 12 years ago after his parents left Dubai to settle here.

"I didn't know what would happen and when it would happen," he said. "Now, I can actually make my future plans over here."

Sheikh's parents, who are from Pakistan, settled in the United States after being deported from Canada in 2009.

The family members said they couldn't return to Pakistan because of the father's political affiliations with the Pakistan's People Party (PPP), a party opposing the Pakistan's Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM.)

On his application to stay in Canada, Sheikh stated, he has only been to Pakistan twice, and felt he was in "severe danger" when he was there.

"The first time I went the MQM gang had put a gun to my head, and told me to say my prayers," he said. "The second time I went I was a bit grown up, so they tried to recruit me by handing me a gun."

His lawyer, Stewart Istvanffy, said the Quebec government had supported Sheikh's bid for permanent residency status on humanitarian grounds.