Pakistan has decided to give British investigators access to the three men in its custody for their alleged involvement in the assassination of Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Imran Farooq in London. Farooq was bludgeoned and stabbed to death near his home in Edgware, North London, on September 16, 2010 as he was returning home after finishing work at a local pharmacy.
“Pakistan has allowed the Metropolitan Police to interrogate the accused,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a news conference on Tuesday. A Scotland Yard team is arriving next week, he said, adding that the British government had been seeking access to the accused since 2014.
Nisar said all the three suspects, arrested by Pakistani law-enforcement agencies from Chaman and Karachi, would be shifted to the federal capital within the next few days and handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
Moazzam Ali Khan, the main accused who allegedly facilitated Farooq’s killers, was arrested in March from Karachi while two other accused, Khalid Shamim and Mohsin Ali, were arrested by FC Balochistan on the Pak-Afghan border crossing in Chaman.
“The accused arrested [in Karachi and Chaman] are on the wanted list of the UK. Pakistan has been in contact with the British government—and through diplomatic channels informed them that in the first phase they can come and interrogate the suspects,” Nisar told reporters.
He said a joint investigation team (JIT), to be headed by a senior officer of the FIA, would be formed to probe into this high-profile case, which, according to him, has ‘international implications’.
“The JIT, whose basic job is to cooperate with the Metropolitan Police/Scotland Yard, would set a new precedent in this case with a fair inquiry,” he added. “The case is being investigated by Scotland Yard and Pakistan is cooperating and sharing intelligence based on its international obligations.”
Nisar’s news conference came days after MQM’s senior leaders met the interior minister to discuss this issue. Nisar confirmed the meeting and said: “The case should not be read as MQM-centric. The MQM leadership wants early arrest of all the suspects in this case.”
Talking to The Express Tribune, MQM MNA Rashid Godil said his party wanted early arrest of all the culprits involved in Farooq’s murder. “All culprits involved in the murder of the MQM convener [Imran Farooq] must be arrested—this is our prime wish,” Godil said.
Nisar to meet Dar today
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said he is scheduled to meet Finance Minister Ishaq Dar today (Wednesday) to discuss funding issues linked to the National Counter Terrorism Authority as well as other high-profile cases, including that of supermodel Ayyan, who faces money laundering cases.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2015.