Karachi stunned by politician's London murder

The murder of a prominent Pakistani politician in London brought Pakistan's second largest city to a standstill today.

Imran Farooq - a leading member of the MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement) party - was found with head injuries and stab wounds outside his home at 5.30pm yesterday.



In Pakistan, petrol stations, schools and markets in Karachi were closed and public transport came to a halt amid fears of violence as news of the killing spread.



The MQM is one of Pakistan's major parties, the largest in the coalition governing Karachi, and an important member of the federal government in Islamabad.



The Metropolitan Police said they were called to reports of a serious assault in Green Lane, Edgware, north London.



A force spokesman said: "When officers arrived, they found an Asian male, aged 50, suffering from multiple stab wounds and head injuries.



"He was treated by paramedics at the scene but was pronounced dead at 18.37.



"The next of kin have been informed."



He added that there had been no arrests.



A section of the road where the murder took place was cordoned off and police were standing guard this morning.



People living close to the scene, in a residential area, expressed their shock.



Philippa Hamilton, 51, a recruitment worker, said she had lived in the area all her life but added: "This sort of thing has never happened here before. It's a real shock."



Mrs Hamilton, who lives 200 yards from the scene, said she heard nothing last night but was alerted to what had happened by neighbours.



She said: "It's definitely not the norm. It's a quiet, leafy road. There are lots of families. It's a very, very mixed community, all sorts of religions and nationalities, but everyone gets on very well.



"It's busy but it's usually quite quiet. It's quite a surprise."



Another neighbour, who did not give his name, said: "It's a real shock. It's quite an affluent part of town. It's pretty quiet usually."





Accountant Anthony McGuinness, 66, said: "There was a lot of commotion at about 6pm last night. I came out of work to see lots of police and vans. The road was all blocked off and we couldn't see much. The road was just full of police."



An officer at the scene in Green Lane confirmed the body had not yet been removed.





A statement on the MQM website said the party had declared a 10-day period of mourning in Pakistan and around the world.



According to reports on the site from 1999, Dr Farooq sought political asylum in the UK after a contract was taken out on his life.



He claimed allegations of criminal and terrorist activities against him were false and politically-motivated.



In November 1992 Dr Farooq said he was wanted "dead or alive".



"(This gave) licence and impunity to every individual in Pakistan to assassinate me," he said.



Dr Farooq, who was secretary general of the party at the time, said he spent more than seven years in hiding in Karachi, southern Pakistan.



He said: "It was impossible for me to remain in Pakistan due to the continued threat on my life and liberty."



Independent observers accuse the party of being involved in illegal activities and hundreds of its supporters have been killed in the past 20 years in gang warfare in Karachi.



The MQM's leader, Altaf Hussain, lives in self-imposed exile in London, but still addresses large gatherings in Karachi by telephone.



He also left Pakistan in 1992, after army generals accused the party of criminal activities.



Mr Hussain recently appeared to suggest that the country's army should rise up against the civilian government.



His comments angered his party's federal coalition partners, including the ruling Pakistan People's Party of President Asif Ali Zardari.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

JavaScript Developer (Angular, Web Forms, HTML5, Ext JS,CSS3)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: JavaScript Dev...

BC2

£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice