Thousands mourn slain Pakistani politician

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The Independent Online

Thousands of mourners attended the funeral today of a Pakistani politician who was stabbed in London in September in a slaying that set off rioting in his hometown of Karachi.

Imran Farooq, who lived in self-imposed exile after fleeing a crackdown on his party in 1992, was killed outside his London home. No one claimed responsibility, and his wife, Shumaila Imran, has appealed for help to solve the case. Authorities in London say they are still investigating.

The body of the 50-year-old politician was flown home today and his funeral was held at a public park in Karachi, in the south of Pakistan. TV footage showed a large crowd at the funeral.

Farooq was a prominent member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which is allied with President Asif Ali Zardari's government.

The movement's leaders received Farooq's body at the Karachi International Airport. From there, his body was taken to his residence and then to the park for his funeral. He was to be buried at a Karachi graveyard later today.

Authorities made strict security arrangements to ensure calm. News of Farooq's killing triggered rioting in Karachi in September.