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Imran Farooq (Urdu: عمران فاروق; 14 June 1960 – 16 September 2010) was a British-Pakistani politician who was best known for his association with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a political party in Pakistan, of which he was a very senior member. He was also a founding member of the All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization. Farooq held several positions in MQM and the Pakistani government. He lived in London in self-imposed exile from 1999 until he was murdered in September 2010.
|Died||16 September 2010 (aged 50)|
|Nationality|| Pakistan |
|Political party||Muttahida Qaumi Movement|
|Parent(s)||Mohammad Farooq Ahmed and Raisa Farooq|
Imran Farooq was born in Karachi, Pakistan. His father, Farooq Ahmed, was born in Delhi, British India before he migrated to Pakistan after the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and was elected as a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Farooq's father was Muhajir. Farooq was a physician by education. He graduated from Sindh Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan with an MBBS degree in 1985. In 2004, Farooq married a former member of the Sindh Assembly, Shumaila Nazar. He fathered two children. Farooq was related to Tahir Qureshi (former MPA). Farooq's great grandfather was also once the governor of Delhi, India.
Although he was not a writer by profession, Farooq authored several works during his lifetime. His best known contribution is The Guiding Principles of MQM.
Mohajir Quami MovementEdit
In 1978, Farooq helped established the All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization. When in 1984, it gave birth to the Mohajir Quami Movement, Farooq served as its first Secretary General and Convener. In 1988 and 1990, he was elected to the Pakistan National Assembly and became the Parliamentary Leader of the MQM.
By 1992, the MQM had become a political force in Karachi. In an effort to curtail its power, the Pakistani government launched Operation Clean-up and sent the military into Karachi to crack down on the movement, causing the leadership, including Farooq, to go into hiding. After being in hiding for nearly seven years, Farooq escaped from Pakistan in 1999, sought political asylum in the United Kingdom and later gained British citizenship. From London, Farooq continued to lead the MQM with Altaf Hussain and other senior members of the party from exile. When Farooq left Pakistan, he had a bounty on his head. Farooq was charged with terrorism, which he denied upon arrival in London. The charges against Farooq were challenged by his mother in 1992 in the Sindh High Court (SHC). The SHC's verdict declared the bounty to be illegal and unconstitutional; the consequent appeal by the provincial Government of Sindh was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Farooq maintained close relations with Altaf Hussain, who called Farooq his "staunch, loyal, and senior companion." In 2004, when Farooq got married in London, Hussain attended the festivities.
Murder, investigation and convictionEdit
The Metropolitan Police said they were called on the complaint of a "serious assault" in Green Lane, Edgware, where they found Farooq, who had suffered multiple stab wounds and head injuries. Despite the efforts of paramedics, Farooq was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined the cause of death as being head trauma and stab wounds to the neck. The suspect(s) had fled the scene leaving behind a 14 cm (5 in) knife and a house brick used to commit the crime.
An unidentified suspect was arrested in December 2010.
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Counter Terrorism Command detectives investigating Farooq's murder believe that he was building his independent political profile in the months before he was killed.
In June 2013, British police arrested Iftikhar Hussain, a primary suspect in the murder case. According to sources familiar with the developments, the detainee is a relative of a top Pakistani politician. The arrest was made in response to forensic evidence gathered by the police. The Scotland Yard stated that they had sought the Call Detail Record (CDR) along with text messages from the SIM obtained from Hussain.
According to sources privy to the development at Scotland Yard, the information obtained from the SIM of Iftikhar Hussain has brought previously unknown facts and connections into the limelight. According to the Yard, the killing may be politically motivated with the secondary objective of money-laundering. However, the police refrained from disclosing the information as the investigation is currently ongoing.
A prominent Pakistan journalist, Najam Sethi, in his programme Apas ki Baat, stated that Farooq had registered a complaint against threat to life with the London Metropolitan Police prior to his murder.
Major suspect of the murder case, Khalid Shamim, confessed on 10 November 2016 that all the planning of murder took place on Nine Zero. He revealed that 16 September was chosen as the date to murder as a birthday gift to Altaf Hussain.
On 18 June 2020, an anti-terrorism court of Islamabad convicted the three accused namely: Syed Mohsin Ali, Moazzam Ali and Khalid Shamim. They were sentenced to life imprisonment and were also imposed a fine of Rs 1.2 million each for the murder.
Reactions to deathEdit
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari expressed his deep sorrow and shock saying that "Imran was a great political leader who rendered his services for his party diligently." Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani called the MQM leader Altaf Hussain to offer his condolences and said Farooq's death was a great loss for MQM. The Pakistani Senate adjourned a session of parliament and paid tribute to Farooq from across the political spectrum. Pakistan's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Wajid Shamsul Hasan called on the police to find the "sinister hand" behind the assassination. He added that "The Pakistani government has condemned this murder in the strongest possible words, "that Farooq "was really highly respected by whatever political groups...He believed more in solutions to problems than creating problems and his assassination needs to be condemned in the strongest possible way because he was not a violent person."
Altaf Hussain also lauded Farooq's long relationship with him and said he was at a loss to explain his grief at Dr. Farooq's death, adding that Farooq had set an example for others to follow. He also called Farooq a "Shaheed-e-Inqalab" or Martyr of the Revolution. Altaf Hussain also very publicly mourned the death of his colleague.
Following reports of his death, violence erupted in his native city of Karachi, Pakistan's main commercial city. Several shops and vehicles were set on fire; however, no casualties were reported. MQM called for a 10-day strike to mourn Farooq's death.
Recitations of the Quran and prayers were organised by members of MQM across the world.
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- Sri Lanka Guardian: Who killed Dr. Imran Farooq?
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- Shah, Murtaza Ali. "Police find knife, brick used to kill Imran Farooq". The News International. 2 October 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Iftikhar Hussain held in Imran Farooq murder case". Express Tribune. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Imran Farooq murder: Political workers, politician's wife being investigated". The Express Tribune. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Imran Farooq had complained to London police about threat". The News International. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Khalid Shamim confessed murder".
- "Court rules 'absconding' Altaf ordered Imran Farooq's murder". Dawn. 19 June 2020.
- "President condemns Dr Imran Farooq's murder". Geo TV. 17 September 2010. Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "PM Gilani telephones Altaf Hussain, condoles upon Dr. Imran's murder". Dunya News. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "Senate pays rich tribute to Thahim, Dr Farooq". The Express Tribune. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "Pakistani high commissioner pays tribute to Dr Imran Farooq, murdered in Edgware last night". Hendon and Finchley Times. 17 September 2010. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "Altaf Hussain pays tribute to Dr Imran Farooq". The News. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "Imran Farooq is Shaheed-e-Inqilab: Altaf". The Nation. 18 September 2010. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "Violence erupts in Pakistan after politician's death". CNN. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "MQM expresses concerns over violence in city". AAJ News. 20 September 2010.