LONDON: The London Police thinks assassinated MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq was about to launch his own political party and eight Pakistanis were being interviewed “on record” to get the details, adding that some of them could become witnesses or even accused in the yet unsolved murder case.
This new information released by the police reveals that Dr Imran Farooq may have broken his links with the MQM and it is being probed whether this was one of the motives behind his murder.
Speaking to The News exclusively, a Scotland Yard source confirmed that Dr Imran Farooq wanted to launch a “new political career”. Requesting complete anonymity, the source revealed that Dr Farooq had not decided on the name of his new party but it was going to be “completely independent from any other Pakistani political party”.
The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command Unit has issued a fresh appeal for information while trying to solve the murder of Dr Imran Farooq here on Edgware on 16 September 2010.
Dr Farooq was a leading politician in the Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and detectives believe he was planning to “renew his political career” before he was killed. Detectives believe that Dr Farooq was building his “independent political profile in the months before he was brutally killed” at his doorstep in Green Lane after returning from work.
They believe he “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”.
On the second death anniversary of the Pakistani politician who was one of the founders of the MQM, the liberal party with a strong base in Karachi, the police issued shocking new details that in July 2010, Dr Farooq set up a “Facebook profile and amassed a large number of contacts through this social network”.
The source made further startling revelation that eight people – all of them of Pakistani origin – have been interviewed under caution. “In 24 months of investigation, we have recovered 2,000 exhibits. We are in possession of 5,500 documents in relation to Dr Farooq. We have spoken to 3,200 people, including house to house inquiries. The investigation is investigative.”
A reward of up to £20,000 has been offered for anyone providing information leading to the identification, arrest, and prosecution of those responsible for Dr Farooq’s murder.Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command unit expressed resolve that they “remain committed to finding those responsible” for the killing of Dr Farooq.
The police statement issued on Friday morning said that Dr Farooq’s murder “would have required careful planning and would have required help from other people, some of whom may have provided assistance or information unwittingly”.
The police appeal continued that detectives want to “speak to anyone who was asked for information about Dr Farooq and his routine, or who was asked to help buy items such as knives similar to those used in the murder, or mobile phones around the time of the attack. Police would also like to speak to anyone who may have been asked to drive people around the Green Lane area in the days before the murder, or who may have witnessed the suspects leaving the scene. Anyone who can assist should call the police incident room on +44 (0)20 8721 3784 or contact the police by email at SO15Mailbox-.DrFarooqMurder@met.police.uk. “We understand that people may have concerns in speaking to the police and would like to offer reassurance that information will be dealt with sensitively.”
Separately, a police source said that they were getting full help from the leadership of the MQM in London and members of the public had provided crucial help in making the latest appeal possible.
Since his murder, Dr Farooq’s widow Shumaila Imran Farooq has been living at an undisclosed address in London with sons Aalishan Farooq, 8, and Wajdan Farooq, 6.
More than 85 officers were originally involved with the murder probe but it is believed that a team comprising 40 detectives is still working on the case. A Pakistani national who was arrested by the police on suspicion of Dr Farooq’s murder was released without charge after being interviewed more than five times over nearly a year.
Dr Farooq came to the UK nearly 12 years ago after fleeing a military operation against the MQM in Karachi and was granted political asylum.