Proceed with caution

The killers of Dr Farooq must be found and the circumstances surrounding his death made clear


Editorial July 01, 2015
There must be no witch hunts, just an exposure of facts rather than fabrications. PHOTO: AFP

A team from Scotland Yard has arrived in Pakistan and is quartered in Islamabad. It is to investigate the murder of the MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq, who was murdered near his home in north London in September 2010. The team will be questioning suspects held by Pakistan, and there is apparently close cooperation between the two countries in this matter. Now the government has decided to form a joint investigation team (JIT) to look into “abetment and assistance” in respect of Dr Farooq’s death. In recent days, a document has been circulating online which purports to be a record of an interview with a member of the MQM that was conducted in London. The document is heavily redacted but still contains allegations of the utmost seriousness. We would advise extreme caution regarding this document as there are concerns as to its veracity, and the London Metropolitan Police, following a swift internal investigation, have disavowed it saying it is not in its records.

The murder of Dr Farooq has complex political ramifications both national and international, and we would urge all concerned, particularly those who are politically engaged, whatever their party affiliation, not to make intemperate statements to the media with regard to this matter. The MQM chief had some time back spoken from his base in London, and made some comments about the military that are unlikely to have endeared him to the institution and did nothing to lower the temperature in a city already overheated both literally and metaphorically. This we do not need. The JIT and the team from the UK will work together, and this is not the first time there has been collaboration between the investigation agencies of both countries — which already cooperate over control of drug smuggling and other serious crimes with an international component. The killers of Dr Farooq must be found and the circumstances surrounding his death made clear. Due process of law has to be followed. There must be no witch hunts, just an exposure of facts rather than fabrications.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2015.

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