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Islamabad Court Convicts Three in Imran Farooq Murder

by Newsweek Pakistan
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File Photo. Asif Hassan—AFP

Syed Mohsin Ali, Moazzam Ali, Khalid Shamim sentenced to life imprisonment and fines of Rs. 1.2 million each

An Anti-Terrorism Court on Thursday convicted three men in the 2010 murder of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr. Imran Farooq, sentencing them to life imprisonment.

“The prosecution remained successful in proving the case against accused by producing confidence aspiring evidence. Case in hand is a fit one for awarding death penalty, however, as an ordinance has been promulgated to amend Pakistan Penal Code 1860 whereby, in the cases where evidence is shared by a foreign country death penalty cannot be given,” the court ruled.

The accused, Syed Mohsin Ali, Moazzam Ali and Khalid Shamim, have all been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and imposed fines of Rs. 1.2 million each.

According to a First Information Report registered by the Counter Terrorism Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency, Farooq’s assassination was the result of a “conspiracy” plotted in the U.K. and Pakistan by “Altaf Hussain, the head of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Muhammad Anwar, senior member of MQM, and Iftikhar Hussain.” It claimed accused Shamim and Moazzam Ali had facilitated the travel of Muhammad Kashif Khan Kamran and Mohsin Ali to the U.K. to murder Farooq. “Later on Dr. Imran Farooq was killed in Green Lane, Edgeware area of London on September 16, 2010,” it added.

The ruling issued at the end of the case said available evidence suggested Farooq’s assassins had conducted “proper surveillance” of their victim and fled London immediately after committing the crime. “The sole purpose of committing the murder was to remove political obstacle upon the orders of party supremo i.e. Altaf Hussain who is still absconding and has got no courage to face the allegations by appearing before court,” it added.

“In the present case, the accused who all are holding nationality of Pakistan by their acts are liable for exemplary punishment because they have tried to defame our motherland before the international community as the pre-planned murder of an innocent person was carried out in very organized manner in city of London having great importance,” the court ruled.

Critics of the MQM had long claimed the killing of Farooq was linked to an internal dispute in the party, which has been run from London by exiled leader Hussain for over two decades. The MQM has strongly denied the claims, and in 2015 also denied that Mohsin Ali and Shamim were party members.

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 a lawmaker in Pakistan, but went into hiding in 1992 when the government ordered a military crackdown against party activists in Karachi.

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