|Police officials confirmed the stabbing incident in north London, but they did not identify the victim [EPA]|
A leading Pakistani politician has been stabbed to death outside his home in north London, British news agencies reported.
Imran Farooq, a senior member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party, which has a strong base in Pakistan’s Sindh province, was found with head injuries and stab wounds outside his home on Thursday, media reports said.
Police confirmed that they were called to investigate reports of a serious assault in the Edgware district at 5.30pm, but they did not identify the victim.
“Officers found an Asian man, aged 50, with stab wounds and head injuries. Paramedics treated the man but he was pronounced dead at the scene at 6.37pm” (1737 GMT), a police spokesman told the AFP news agency.
Police are investigating the incident.
Farooq was reported to have been living in London since 1992. He claimed asylum in Britain after more than seven years on the run from Pakistani police who accused him of involvement in cases of murder and other serious crimes, according to reports on the MQM website from 1999. Farooq had denied the charges.
He was a founding member of the MQM party, which is based in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi and is one of the country’s major parties with a strong anti-Taliban stance.
It mainly represents descendants of Urdu-speaking migrants from India who settled in Pakistan after partition in 1947.
Opposition groups accuse the MQM of exaggerating the threat of the Taliban because of a history of bias against Pashtuns, an estimated two to four million of whom live in Karachi.
Last month, the murder of another MQM politician, Raza Haider, in Karachi triggered a wave of political and ethnic killing in the city that left about 85 people dead.
Karachi has been plagued by ethnic and sectarian killings, crime and kidnappings, exacerbating woes in a country battling with unprecedented flooding that has killed more than 1,500 people and
affected up to 21 million.
Tensions are high between coalition partners MQM and the Awami National Party (ANP), which represent different communities in Karachi.
The ANP is the party of more than two million Pashtuns who have escaped poverty and violence in the northwest for Karachi, where they largely perform menial jobs in transport and construction.