British police name suspects in Imran Farooq’s murder

LONDON: British detectives have asked Pakistani authorities for help tracing two men they believe are linked to the murder of a senior politician in London almost four years ago, British Newspaper reported.

Imran Farooq was stabbed to death outside his home in Edgware, close to the headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – the biggest political force in Karachi.

Scotland Yard is investigating whether the murder was linked to Dr Farooq’s plans to break away from the MQM leadership and launch a new, independent political career. The killing sparked fears that Karachi’s brutal politics had reached London.

Now detectives of Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command have named two men who left Britain on the night of the murder, September 16, 2010, after entering the country on student visas. They said Moshin Ali Syed, 29 and Muhammad Kashif Khan Kamran, 34, are both believed to be in Pakistan.

“The investigation team knows that the two men resided in the Stanmore area prior to the murder and left the UK on the evening of the murder. The men are known to have registered to study at a college in East London having entered the UK on student visas,” said a statement.

“Having built up a significant picture of the men’s movements, both in Pakistan and London, officers would like more information to complete the picture.”

Local media reported that the two men returned to Pakistan via Sri Lanka, and were detained on arriving back in Karachi, although Pakistani authorities insist they were never arrested.

The Telegraph revealed two years ago how a dossier of evidence, based on phone intercepts and naming the two suspects, had been presented to Scotland Yard, driving divisions through Pakistan’s ruling coalition, which at that time included the MQM.

A 52-year-old man was arrested at Heathrow airport last year on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Senior figures fear any further arrests – particularly within the MQM – could provoke a wave of political violence in Karachi and reprisal attacks on British facilities.

The MQM describes itself as a secular party of professionals and has kept a tight grip on Pakistan’s economic capital Karachi, a sprawling mega-city of some 20m people.

Its leader, Altaf Hussain, has lived in London for more than 20 years after being granted political asylum.

His opponents accuse him of inciting violence and using gangland tactics to keep control of Karachi.

His house was among a number of premises raided in connection with the current investigation.