On the two-year death anniversary of Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Imran Farooq, London’s Metropolitan Police appear to have confirmed at least one of the rumours circulating in the aftermath of his murder – Farooq was looking to build an “independent political profile”.
A renewed appeal issued on Friday noted that Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command Detectives “believe that he was building his independent political profile in the months before he was killed.”
In a statement, the police said that detectives “believe Dr Farooq may have been poised to renew his political career and they want to speak to anyone who was in contact with Dr Farooq over his political ambitions.”
“Police know that in July 2010, Dr Farooq set up a Facebook profile and amassed a large number of contacts through this social network,” the statement read.
Dr Farooq was the convener of the MQM Coordination Committee, and a founding member of the party. He had moved to the UK in the wake of the state operation against the MQM in the 1990s.
A report published in the UK’s Guardian newspaper after his murder quoted a source saying that Dr Farooq may have been set to join or endorse the political party founded by former president Pervez Musharraf. It also stated that the Scotland Yard investigation “has been told that rows within his own party may have led to his assassination.”
MQM deputy convener Dr Farooq Sattar refuted this in a letter sent to the Guardian. In the letter, Dr Sattar wrote, “The allegation that the murder of Dr Imran Farooq was somehow linked to ‘rows within the MQM’ is entirely false. It is of note that it is attributed only to ‘sources’ without giving any indication of who those sources might be or whether they have any political axe to grind. There were no internal divisions in the MQM which might have led to his murder.”
“He was a highly respected member of the party and remained on good terms with senior officials of the MQM,” Dr Sattar wrote of his former colleague.
The police have offered a reward of up to £20,000 for anyone “providing information leading to the identification, arrest, and prosecution of those responsible for Dr Farooq’s murder.”
He was attacked outside his house on September 16, 2010. The post-mortem revealed that he was killed from multiple stab wounds and a blunt trauma to the head. The statement says that “a five and a half inch-bladed kitchen knife and a house brick used in the attack were recovered at the scene.”
His funeral was held in Karachi on November 6, 2010 with his family and a number of MQM leaders in attendance.
The Metropolitan Police has requested information about Dr Farooq, his routine, or anyone who helped to buy cell phones or an item similar to those used in the murder, as well as anyone who may have been asked to drive people around in the area or has witnessed the suspects leaving the scene.
The police had also released a sketch of a person they would like to speak to.
The MQM’s Wasay Jalil declined to comment on Friday. “The investigation is being carried out by Scotland Yard and they would be the appropriate forum to comment,” he told The Express Tribune. He said that because it was a judicial matter and the investigation was ongoing, the MQM has said in the past as well that it would not be making a public statement.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2012.