Friday, September 17, 2010

Dr. Imran Farooq Murdered

Prominent Pakistan politician murdered outside his London home


Imran Farooq, a prominent Pakistani politician, has been murdered outside his home in London.


By Laura Roberts and Heidi Blake
Published: 12:27AM BST 17 Sep 2010

Dr Farooq, 50, was repeatedly stabbed in the head and neck during the assault in Edgware, north London.

He was a leading member of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) party, which is one of the largest in Pakistan.

There were suggestions from Pakistan that he may have known his killer. When police arrived at the scene, they found Dr Farooq’s body outside his house.

Imran Farooq claimed asylum in Britain after spending seven years on the run
as one of Pakistan's most wanted fugitives.
 Photo: GETTY
 A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said officers attended an address in Green Lane, Edgware, shortly before 5.30pm after reports of a serious assault. “On arrival, officers found a single Asian man aged 50 with multiple stab wounds and head injuries,” the spokesman said.

“Paramedics attended the man but he was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Next of kin have been informed and no arrests have been made.
Dr Farooq was expected to attend a birthday celebration at the MQM headquarters on London’s Edgware Road on Thursday night but the event was cancelled at the last minute. Police said it was too early to know if the murder was politically motivated.

The politician claimed asylum in Britain after spending seven years on the run as one of Pakistan’s most wanted fugitives. He was accused of a range of charges, including murder and torture.

He has not returned to Pakistan since his arrival in England in 1992.

He claimed that year that he was wanted “dead or alive”.
“[This gave] licence and impunity to every individual in Pakistan to assassinate me,” he said.

Dr Farooq said he spent more than seven years in hiding in Karachi, southern Pakistan. He continued: “It was impossible for me to remain in Pakistan due to the continued threat on my life and liberty.”

He insisted the claims against him in Pakistan were politically motivated and continued his involvement with the party from Britain.

Last month Raza Haider, another MQM member, was gunned down with his guard as he attended a funeral near the centre of Karachi. The killing triggered violence in which dozens of people were killed and at least 100 wounded.

Azeem Tariq, the former chairman, was murdered in Karachi 13 years ago. Intruders entered his home and shot him as he slept.
MQM, based in Karachi, is the fourth largest party in Pakistan and is part of the ruling coalition government. It has a strong anti-Taliban stance, although rivals accuse it of exaggerating the threat of the Taliban.

The party represents mainly descendants of Urdu-speaking migrants from India who settled in Pakistan when it was created in 1947.
London has played host to many of Pakistan’s exiled politicians. Gen Pervez Musharraf, the former president, lives in self-imposed exile in London.

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