17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

British Pakistani man arrested at Heathrow in connection with murder of MQM leader Imran Farooq

A 52-year-old man has been arrested by Scotland Yard in the first major breakthrough in the brutal murder of exiled Pakistani politician Dr Imran Farooq in London.

The man was arrested by counter-terrorism police after he flew in from Canada on Monday morning and is being questioned by police on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Dr Farooq was found beaten and stabbed to death outside his home in North London in September 2010 in a suspected politically motivated murder days after rumours emerged he was planning to split from the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM).

MQM controls much of the Pakistani port city of Karachi but is controlled from Edgware, London by another exiled politician, Altaf Hussain who founded the movement in the late 1970's with Dr Farooq.

Unconfirmed reports from Pakistan say that the suspect is Iftikhar Hussain, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, who is said to be linked to senior MQM figures.

His arrest comes days after police searched several properties in North London, including one that reportedly belongs to Hussain.

At the time of his murder at the age of 50, Dr Farooq had been living close to MQM's London offices in Edgware having fled to England in 1999 after seven years of eluding capture inside Pakistan. 

Days before his death Dr Farooq had expressed his disillusionment with the MQM and was reportedly considering forming his own political party with the support of General Pervez Musharraf.

Scotland Yard is offering a reward of up to £20,000 for information that leads to the conviction of Dr Farooq's killer.

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