By Steven Allison
An exiled Pakistani politician has been murdered outside his home in North London, leaders of his party have said.
Imran Farooq, a senior member of the MQM party who has been in London since 1999, was attacked in Green Lane, Edgware, on Thursday evening.
The Metropolitan Police said a 50-year-old man had died after suffering multiple stab wounds and head injuries.
The investigation into his death has now been taken over by SO15, Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command.
Officers are working on the assumption that Mr Farooq’s murder was politically motivated.
The “prominent and popular leader” was living with his wife and two sons in Green Lane.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has declared a 10-day mourning period and violence has been reported in Karachi, with cars being set alight and guns fired across the city. It is understood nobody has been killed or injured.
Hundreds of party activists have converged on Mr Farooq’s family home in the centre of Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan and the main base of support for the MQM.
Police in London were called to reports of a serious assault at 1730 BST on Thursday. Mr Farooq was treated by paramedics but declared dead at the scene about an hour later. No arrests have been made.
A Met spokesman said: “When officers arrived they found an Asian male, aged 50, suffering from multiple stab wounds and head injuries.
Mr Farooq disappeared from Pakistan in 1992 and is known to have been living in exile in London since 1999, when he claimed asylum in the UK.
He is understood to have been wanted by Pakistani security forces and said in 1999 he had spent the previous seven years in hiding in Karachi.
The former Pakistani parliamentarian was one of the founding members of the MQM, a former opposition party which is now part of the ruling PPP-led alliance.
He is also said to have had a very violent past.