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UK’s inaction in Imran Farooq murder case baffles experts

Updated Mar 20, 2017 08:09am


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LONDON: For over a year the British government has failed to process a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) request to extradite a suspect in the Imran Farooq murder case to the UK. The CPS originally asked for Mohsin Ali Syed to be extradited in early 2016 but senior officials in Islamabad say they are yet to receive a formal request for him to be handed over.

Under UK rules any extradition request must be processed through the Home Office and Foreign Office before being formally passed on to the Pakistani authorities. It is not clear whether the block is coming from the Home Office, the Foreign Office, or both.

Asked about the extradition request, a Home Office spokesperson said: “As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, the UK will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request has been made or received until such time as an arrest has been made in relation to that request.”

Also read: How the MQM case has led to mistrust between UK and Pakistan

The CPS took a similar line: “The CPS can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an extradition request.”

The Home Office statement overlooks the fact that Syed has, in fact, been arrested in Pakistan. He spent five years in ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] detention during which time his alleged accomplice Muhammad Kashif Khan Kamran died. Syed was arrested in Chaman in 2015. Two other suspects — Khalid Shamim and Muazzam Ali — have also been arrested and are currently in Pakistani custody.

The Home Office refusal to comment appears to go against previous examples in which it had confirmed extradition requests in similar circumstances. In 2006, for example, the UK confirmed it had requested the extradition of Birmingham-born jihadi Rashid Rauf who at the time was in Pakistani custody. A Home Office official said there were in fact differences between the two cases but it was against policy to explain them.

The lack of clarity adds to suspicions of senior Pakistani military and civilian officials that some elements of the British state are trying to protect the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) because they see it as a diplomatic asset that gives the UK influence in Pakistan.

Read: Dr Farooq’s murder was a birthday gift to Altaf: suspect

“The legal requirements for extradition are met,” said UK-based Barrister Ali Naseem Bajwa QC. “Accordingly, the failure to seek Mohsin Ali Syed’s extradition cannot be viewed in terms of a lack of evidence or a failure in the legal process. The failure can only be viewed as a lack of will and a failure in the political process.”

No extradition treaty

Britain and Pakistan do not have a formal extradition treaty. But last year, speaking specifically about the murder case of Imran Farooq, a senior leader of the MQM, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan insisted that would not be an obstacle to Pakistan cooperation: “We might not have an extradition treaty but the lack of a treaty will not stop me cooperating with the UK,” he said.

Earlier this year, Pakistan extradited a man charged with a double murder in the northern English city of Bradford. Mohammed Zubair had been charged with the murder of 27-year-old Imran Khan and 35-year-old Ahmed in Sayed Khyel. Zubair had been in Pakistani custody since November 2013 and the UK police said it was the first time in more than 10 years that anyone had been extradited from Pakistan to the UK.

The previous extradition of Pakistanis to the UK was in relation to the 2004 murder of a 15-year-old boy in the Scottish city of Glasgow. At that time cash-and-carry tycoon and British MP Mohamed Sarwar ran a campaign to get suspects, who had fled to Pakistan, extradited the UK. Three men eventually received sentences ranging from five to 17 years.

The Home Office objected to Mr Sarwar’s efforts on the grounds that one off extradition arrangements undermined its attempts to negotiate a full-blown extradition treaty with Pakistan. Mr Sarwar later said that the British High Commission in Pakistan also opposed his efforts arguing that pressuring Pakistan to extradite someone might upset diplomatic relations.

While the UK police, guided by the Crown Prosecution Service, want Syed’s extradition on his own, Pakistan would prefer that he face trial in the UK alongside Khalid Shamin and Muazzam Ali. But since Pakistan has not even received a formal request for Syed’s extradition, it is far from clear that any of the three men will face trial in the UK.

Ever since Farooq’s murder in 2010 the MQM has insisted the case had nothing to do with the party. To this day, the MQM’s website carries a British police appeal for information about the murder. The site describes Farooq as a “martyr of revolution and loyalty”.

Whilst the Farooq murder inquiry seems stalled, the British inquiry into Altaf Hussain’s Aug 22 speech is still ongoing. It is believed that the question of whether that speech incited violence might be put together with other investigations into possible hate speech offences.

Pakistan is trying to increase pressure on the UK to be more cooperative in cases concerning the MQM.

Chaudhry Nisar said last week that he was seeking legal assistance in relation to the money laundering and hate speech cases. It is not clear, however, whether starting legal proceedings in Pakistan increases pressure on the UK or in fact lets it off the hook as British officials can argue that if cases are ongoing in Pakistan there is no need for the UK to proceed with parallel proceedings in the UK.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017


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Comments (79) Closed

Shah Mar 20, 2017 07:35am

The drama of great British justice is falling apart be it Imran farooq case or Money Laundering case

Alba Mar 20, 2017 07:34am

Britain and Pakistan do not have a formal extradition treaty. The United States and Mexico do not have a formal extradition treaty. For the same reasons.

AdHawk Mar 20, 2017 07:47am

Now you see how Britain ruled the world for 200 years.

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 07:49am

It is unlike the way the criminal justice system operates in the UK. The culprits are already apprehended and their confessional statements on record.

There is much more than meets the eye which has compelled the continued dilly dallying in this particular murder case. Otherwise, it is an open and shut case with all the evidences and witnesses available.

M Mirza Mar 20, 2017 07:50am

There is no drama. That is how the British system works. They have to be 1000% sure before they charge anybody.

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 07:56am


The drama has been enacted with much crudeness and impunity.

Sab se pehle pakistan Mar 20, 2017 07:52am

The British government cannot act on the wishes of some people with "ism" in their heart. There are laws and regulations in England.

AdHawk Mar 20, 2017 07:57am

Now you see how Britain ruled the world for 200 years.

nopunintended Mar 20, 2017 08:09am

@Shah indeed

KB Mar 20, 2017 08:11am

Pakistan has to show and prove that it's judiciary system is good and nobody is above it. Then it should ask other countries to seek them justice. One's one collar is the place to look in, instead of others.

ANZ Mar 20, 2017 08:11am

@M Mirza agreed, they don't force confessions

Sal Mar 20, 2017 08:12am

@Shah Fortunately British government only prosecute on real evidences and not politically driven crap.

aslam shaikh Mar 20, 2017 08:12am

Why would the loyal agents ever be prosecuted?

Jawad sidd Mar 20, 2017 08:22am

Is it U.K. Inaction or a possibility that actors behind imran Farooq murder are different and uk realised that it's was a political stunt to undermine mqm and it's founding leader

Noorullah Sadat Mar 20, 2017 08:33am

Good news

Truth Mar 20, 2017 08:41am

"Great British justice" myth is falling apart be it Imran Farooq case or Money Laundering case. So Britain will find any excuse to serve their political interests first.

Athar sherwani Mar 20, 2017 09:06am

Police in UK investigates the case and then passes the case to CPS who then decides whether a case can proceed successfully in court which it has done so and asked the government to extradite the absconders. Therefore, the political decision to ask for extradition has been put on the British government which it seems to be reluctant to do so which of course makes you think that there is something smelly!

MS Mar 20, 2017 09:06am

It seems like British justice system is subservient to the political will of the government of the time.

Good POINT Mar 20, 2017 09:22am

Taste of your own medicine ?

JAMIL SOOMRO, NEW YORK CITY Mar 20, 2017 09:30am

It used to be said "The Sun never sets on the British Empire"but in reality it has finally set and along with its British Justice System too.

Zia Mar 20, 2017 09:31am

UK need to have political influence in pakistan...this rhetoric has nailed it..inaction will follow in future..

Yawar Mar 20, 2017 09:59am

It appears something is keeping the UK govt from solving this and other cases. Could it be they don't want someone to reveal secrets that might make them look bad?

blunt Mar 20, 2017 09:58am

@Shah : Everything would be ok if it were according to "your wishes"

blunt Mar 20, 2017 09:59am

There is rule of law in UK, atleast

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 10:29am


Better to call it selective application of law rather than rule of law.

Wajid Mar 20, 2017 10:30am

British Courts and their Justice system is nothing more than our District courts.... and we are so obsessed with their so called justice system

Love Your Country Mar 20, 2017 10:39am

Should we be surprised about this attitude, absolutely not.

V4V Mar 20, 2017 10:38am

Benazir was murdered inside Pakistan but Mr. Nisar never bothered to respond on this case.

Ayaz 4610 @yahoo. Com Mar 20, 2017 10:45am

Their days are numbered Pakistan should supprt Scottish initiative for succession than these imperial thieves will meet their end.

Karachiwala Mar 20, 2017 10:47am

@blunt same UK gives asylum on the basis of blunt lies?

Riz Mar 20, 2017 10:57am

Because they want to bring Altaf in action.

Shahid Mar 20, 2017 11:02am

It just shows the reality that the West is not always law abiding, justice-loving folks when it comes to their foreign policy and intelligence assets.

Shahid Mar 20, 2017 11:04am

@Alba , You do not need a treaty if both the states agree for a specific extradition in a specific case.

N H RANA Mar 20, 2017 11:09am

They have experience of centuries how to protect their National interests not like any Pakistani authorities be it present or past.

ray Ahmad Mar 20, 2017 11:25am

@nopunintended Murdered and alleged murderer are British national, and it occurred in London .so why it is matter to Pakistan . Pakistan has no jurisdiction on either of the case.

aslam shaikh Mar 20, 2017 12:03pm

A royal pardon should be given to loyal agents

BAXAR Mar 20, 2017 12:12pm

@Shah "The drama of great British justice is falling apart be it Imran farooq case or Money Laundering case" And the rulers of Pakistan still prefer to lodge their family there!!! If you're so sure British government is acting against the interest of Pakistan, you can at least boycott those who prefer to live and invest in UK.

Make Pakistan great Mar 20, 2017 12:22pm

People can certainly make it out as to why the case is dragging on aimlessly since so long.

Nasir, London Mar 20, 2017 03:09pm

British justice is just a myth. The system relies on where its interests lies, justice is secondary to interests.

SYED HASSAN HASEEB Mar 20, 2017 03:40pm

this is a pakistani way of working and their good home minister's way . the UK govt cant follow them i am sure.

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 03:50pm

@Sal - "Fortunately British government only prosecute on real evidences and not politically driven crap."

Read the first sentence of the article CPS has requested to extradite a suspect. So, "politically driven crap" is from UK side!!!

Ali S Mar 20, 2017 03:54pm

In that case, the UK govt isn't alone in giving a deaf ear to Pakistan.

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 03:58pm

@Sab se pehle pakistan - "The British government cannot act on the wishes of some people".

Extradition request from CPS is not "wishes of some people", is it? The article clearly says "that some elements of the British state are trying to protect the MQM because they see it as a diplomatic asset that gives the UK influence in Pakistan".

When it comes to Altaf and his shenanigans, your logic goes completely out of the window!!!

BAXAR Mar 20, 2017 04:11pm

@Nasir, London "British justice is just a myth." And we have a solid one!!!

Ayub Mar 20, 2017 04:25pm

British justice and government system have failed and our justice and governance system are acknowledged every where in the world.

asad Mar 20, 2017 04:32pm

@Harmony-1© Good that you have accepted that AH still the most popular & trustworthy leader of Mohajirs that's why UK consider him an asset. Let the people decide who they elect not the one like you who write with the shade of ethnic and race. You have to accept the rights of other ethnicity living in Pakistan.

Sher khan Mar 20, 2017 04:34pm

@Shah - we can agree with your comments, but keep in mind, Imran Farooq was a British citizen and why we are worry, his wife is in London, he was not a public office holder in Pakistan, he was running a grocery shop in London, was a citizen of London and murdered there, so where is in government of Pakistan, just wasting our tax payers money.

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 04:37pm

@Asad - Where did I "accepted"? Or is it just your own preconception and putting words in my mouth!!!

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 04:39pm

@Asad - We are talking about facts of the case here, not "shade of ethnic and race". Be real !!!

Muhammad Mar 20, 2017 04:40pm

@Shah "The drama of great British justice is falling apart be it Imran farooq case or Money Laundering case" British justice system is one of the best system in the world but they do not act on the whims and orders of Governments they need solid proofs not newspaper clippings

Shaukat Ali Khan Mar 20, 2017 04:41pm


Zardari, the husband of BeNazir, was President of Pakistan for 5 years. What did he do in this case?

Muhammad Mar 20, 2017 04:43pm

@MS "It seems like British justice system is subservient to the political will of the government of the time" Not at all otherwise they would have ordered the punishment of "that person" they need solid proof they do not act on the whims of governments

BAXAR Mar 20, 2017 04:45pm

@Harmony-1© " CPS has requested to extradite a suspect. " The evidence provided were not sufficient for the UK legal system.

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 04:40pm

@Shaukat Ali Khan - Is it a Benazir case or about Imran Farooq murder case? What are you reading?

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 04:50pm

@Muhammad - CPS request for extradition is because of "solid proof" as the article has given example of previous cases. CPS in an independent institution that acts only after sold evidence!!!

On the contrary its precisely "the whims of governments" that are being questioned here; not the CPS!!!

asad Mar 20, 2017 04:55pm

@Harmony-1© Pakistan would not had divided, had it not been ethnic and race issue, respect all ethnicity and race. Open your mind so it will enable you to realize that there are people which may look different in color and language but still part of Pakistan. Unless you have this respect to prevail, you will continue to harm other through such words which meant nothing to other ethnicity.

Sab se pehle pakistan Mar 20, 2017 04:55pm

@Harmony-1© : No my friend. I do not favour anyone. My comment was a response to those people who are criticizing the British legal system (which is by far superior then ours) only because they have some grudge against the most loved political party of Urban Sindh. This grudge and ism was the reason why MQM came into existence. Rest we all are Pakistanis and as always our goal should be "Sab Se Pehle Pakistan".

Mirza Mar 20, 2017 05:14pm

@V4V what did asif zirdari do in this case when he came to power? You are telling me ch nisar should do something while president asif zardari didnt do anything in BB case

Amin Mar 20, 2017 05:18pm

Common on guys, you don't prosecute your assets.

Agenda Mar 20, 2017 05:28pm

@ANZ assuming too much. Human nature is the same every where. There are ways of doing it.

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 05:34pm

@Sab Se Pehle Pakistan - Thanks for clarification :)

As you can see, I was only talking about facts of the case - not an ethnicity matter here.

The fact is there was a murder and CPS are requesting for extradition. CPS only act on evidence. Those who are questioning, can Google and read about CPS. It’s the governments who are interested in their own interests here!

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 05:42pm

@Asad - When was I talking about "divide" and "ethnicity and race"; except you?

Don't spin it around - stick to the facts of the case as the writer has stated!

imran Altaf Mar 20, 2017 05:54pm

And all to protect Mr Hussian.

Javed Mar 20, 2017 05:58pm

What's there to be baffled about? The government of Pakistan is dragging its feet in providing evidence requested by Scotland Yard. It's the hieght of hypocrisy.

asad Mar 20, 2017 06:24pm

@Harmony-1© No one talks about racism it just get emanated from inside from the ppl of different race & ethnicity and unfortunately the outcome become the country like East Pakistan. Your so called biased facts wont belittle 25000 Urdu speaking youth killed by such politics of hegemony and racism. All are Pakistanis and everyone have a right to elect the leader of their choice not from the choice of yours or like minded one.

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 06:28pm

@Javed - This is not what the writer is saying. Read it again and you will find British Home Office and Foreign Office are not processing the extradition request!

Harmony-1© Mar 20, 2017 06:30pm

@Asad - Talk about "racism" on an appropriate news - this is about murder!!!

aslam shaikh Mar 20, 2017 06:50pm

British citizen killed another British citizen. If British do not want to punish the criminal what can we say.

Muhammad Mar 20, 2017 07:14pm

@Harmony-1© Do you know exactly what proofs Government has sent to the UK ?

Muhammad Mar 20, 2017 07:32pm

@aslam shaikh "British citizen killed another British citizen. If British do not want to punish the criminal what can we say" How come you have declared one person a "criminal" ? this attitude of South Asian people have kept us still a developing or third world nation we do not believe in true justice system we just want to impose our thoughts or bias without any questioning

BAXAR Mar 20, 2017 07:43pm

@Javed " Pakistan is dragging its feet in providing evidence requested by Scotland Yard." Nobody requested Pakistan to provide evidence of any sort, for a crime in UK. Probably our leaders are offering something to UK in exchange of Altaf Hussein, but UK is not interested. They probably want more, when they see how desperate they are. That is the law of supply and demand, pure and simple. The question is: what are you ready to give to UK in exchange of AH? They'll sure ask more. Remember do more?

optimist Mar 21, 2017 01:11am

The murder was committed of a British Citizen and the accused is also a British citizen. The British judicial system is a million times better than the Pakistani judicial system. Pakistani home minister should worry about unsolved cases at home and judgment on hold.

Stephane jones Mar 21, 2017 02:03am

@Harmony-1© thier is no request confirmation from official sources

sYED (Australia) Mar 21, 2017 05:37am

Where is justice gone in case of money laundering and Imran Farooq's murder case. Who says British justice system is the best in the world. It is falling apart. Hypocrisy in this case is prevailing justice system there.

Masood Mar 21, 2017 03:47pm

They will always protect their asset

human Mar 21, 2017 04:56pm

You expect justice from a white man?

Readon_VA Mar 21, 2017 06:03pm

No need to be baffled. They do whatever is necessary to support their interest.

BAXAR Mar 21, 2017 06:42pm

@sYED (Australia) "Where is justice gone in case of money laundering and Imran Farooq's murder case." We should be more worried about Panama money laundering case and Model Town murders case!!!

BAXAR Mar 21, 2017 06:55pm

"UK’s inaction in Imran Farooq murder case baffles experts" Either they're no expert, or not baffled. Being anti-MQM doesn't make someone expert of anything. Being expert of nothing can easily make someone anti-MQM rather. I am not expert of anything, I know what I'm talking about!!!