ISLAMABAD: Shumaila Imran Farooq, the widow of slain Muttahida Qaumi Movement senior leader Dr Imran Farooq, has expressed satisfaction over the conviction of her husband's murderers, saying she is "pleased that those responsible would spend the rest of their lives in prison" for killing a ‘true patriot’ and “a hero of the MQM”.
In a statement issued by the London's Metropolitan Police, on behalf of Shumaila following the conviction of three men in connection with Dr Farooq’s murder in 2010, the widow lauded her husband’s struggle for the betterment of the society and shed light on the trauma as well as the financial difficulties her family faced after the murder.
“The name of Dr Imran Farooq will live forever. He was a true patriot of Pakistan and a hero of the Muhajir Qaumi Movement,” Shumaila said, adding that he was a devoted husband, father, son and brother.
“My husband struggled day and night for the destitute of society. He fulfilled his duties as a politician to his best ability and his name will live forever.”
The statement came hours after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) ruled that MQM founder Altaf Hussain had Dr Farooq assassinated and sentenced three men to life imprisonment for their involvement in the murder. “It is proved that Altaf Hussain ordered the killing of Dr Imran Farooq,” read the verdict penned by ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand.
Dr Farooq, a founding member of the MQM, was stabbed and bludgeoned to death near his apartment in London in September 2010.
In the communique, the widow said that Farooq faced countless difficulties but he did not step back from his principles "which might be the reason behind his murder".
“I am pleased that those held responsible for his murder will spend the remainder of their lives in prison,” the statement quoted her as saying.
Sharing her ordeal, Shumaila said: “The loss of my husband had such a lasting effect on me that at times I was not aware even about myself.”
Shumaila said she had to go through immense financial difficulties as there was only £500 in her husband's bank account at the time of his death.
“As soon as Dr Imran Farooq left this world, I felt that I was left alone in this universe. Unsupported even by my extended family such as my in-laws, the only people who were there for me were my blood family, I had to raise my two sons alone.”
Following the assassination, Shumaila said her family had been living in fear for the past 10 years and her children are terrified, startled by any loud noise and reluctant to go out.
Altaf ordered Dr Farooq’s murder, rules court
She thanked the Metropolitan Police, British and Pakistani authorities for bringing the culprits to book.
Investigators never give up
Following the judgement, Commander Richard Smith, the head of Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said that he is pleased that the men were brought to justice. “This outcome would not have been possible were it not for the incredible dedication, skill and determination of the investigation team, who for almost ten years, have never given up in their pursuit of his killers,” the Met Police’s website quoted him as saying.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Dr Imran Farooq’s widow and his family, who have shown tremendous dignity, strength and patience as we have gone about our investigation,” Smith said.
Reacting on the decision, the UK’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, said: “Today’s conviction marks a team effort between law agencies in the UK and Pakistan working together to get justice for the murder of Dr Imran Farooq."
“This ground-breaking legal collaboration meant that evidence gathered by the British police could be shared with Pakistani prosecutors and used in the successful prosecution of the accused standing trial," he added.
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