Wednesday 22 November 2017

Murder of Pakistani exile sparks fear of UK bloodshed

Duncan Gardham in London and Rob Crilly in Islamabad

SCOTLAND Yard counter-terrorism police were called in yesterday to lead the murder inquiry into the London killing of a Pakistani politician after officials warned a bloody struggle between political factions in Karachi was on its way to Britain.

Police sources said the inquiry into the death of Imran Farooq, a founder member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), had been taken over by Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Command, which investigates political assassinations. MI5 may also be called in.

Karachi, Pakistan's commercial capital, was in lockdown, with streets deserted following the murder on Thursday of Dr Farooq, who had lived in Britain since claiming asylum in 1999.

Hundreds of deaths of loyalists from rival political and ethnic gangs have occurred this year in a corruption and racketeering turf war. "This has been going on here for years and it's not a surprise to see something happen in London," said a senior official in Karachi.

He said it was impossible to tell who was responsible; from fellow MQM members to rival political parties, business associates or the Taliban.

Detectives in London have not ruled out the possibility that Dr Farooq was killed in a random mugging. A proven political motive could cause political clashes in Karachi or undermine the stability of Pakistan's governing coalition, which includes the MQM.

Dr Farooq was forced into hiding in 1992 and was accused of involvement in the murder and torture of political opponents. He always denied the allegations.(©Daily Telegraph London)

Irish Independent

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