LONDON - British detectives investigating the 2010 murder of Pakistani politician Imran Farooq in London named two men Tuesday they want to trace in connection with the killing.
Farooq, 50, a founding member of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was stabbed and beaten to death in Edgware, northwest London, as he returned home from work on September 16, 2010. The two men police want to trace are both Pakistani nationals who left Britain in the hours after the murder, Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement. Detectives said they are looking for 29-year-old Mohsin Ali Syed, who was in Britain from February 2010. They also want to speak to Muhammad Kashif Khan Kamran, 34, who was in Britain from early September 2010.
The two men lived in Stanmore, a suburb neighbouring Edgware, prior to the murder, police said. “The men are known to have registered to study at a college in east London having entered the UK on student visas,” the statement said. They said they had pieced together a “significant picture” of the men’s movements in Pakistan and London, but wanted more information about their whereabouts in the days immediately prior to the murder, and on their travel out of Britain in the hours afterwards. “Dr Farooq’s murder would have required careful planning and help from other people, some of whom may have provided assistance or information unwittingly,” they said. “We are appealing to anyone who has not yet come forward but knew either man in Pakistan or during their time in the UK to contact the investigation team. “The two men are believed to be in Pakistan at this time and officers continue to liaise with Pakistani authorities.” Scotland Yard also released images of the two men. Faisal Sabzwari, a senior MQM leader in Karachi, told AFP the party wanted Farooq’s killers brought to justice, and said they were “diligently” cooperating with the British investigation.
But he insisted they knew nothing of Syed or Kamran. “We don’t know about the existence of those two men whose pictures have been released,” Sabzwari told AFP.
“They are not members of the MQM or any of its affiliate groups.”
Farooq claimed asylum in Britain in 1999. He was wanted in Pakistan over scores of charges including torture and murder related to the MQM’s activities, but always claimed the accusations were politically motivated.
He had twice been elected an MP in Pakistan, but went into hiding in 1992 when the government ordered a military crackdown against party activists in Karachi.
More than 200,000 mourners packed the streets of Karachi for his burial on November 6.
A 52-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder remains on police bail pending further enquiries.
The man was arrested in June 2013 at London’s Heathrow Airport after landing on a flight from Canada.