MQM-London leader is found dead in mysterious circumstances





Police on Sunday found the body of Dr. Hasan Zafar Arif, a central leader of the secular Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London, here in Ilyas Goth neighborhood near Ibrahim Haidri, in Karachi.

Prominent leftist intellectual and former academic Arif, 75, was serving as the MQM-London’s deputy convener.
Local Police said his body was found in his car in Ilyas Goth on the outskirts of the city.

Doctors at state-run Jinnah Hospital said that Arif’s body has been sent for medico-legal post-mortem. “He was dead before his body was brought to the hospital,,” said Dr. Seemi Jamali, head of the hospital’s emergency section. She said that they did not find marks of torture or bullets on his body.

Abdul Majeed Karwani, a local leader of MQM-London and close friend of Arif, said that Arif left his office in Saddar for his residence at DHA on Saturday at 6 p.m. and drove the car himself.

“We were scheduled to visit a party worker for condolence but Dr. Sahab apologized as he wanted to see his daughter who had come from London,” said Karwani, adding his friend never reached his home. In the morning his wife called and said he hadn’t reached home. “As we were trying to locate, we saw the TV tickers that the dead body of Arif had been found.”

“The party’s central leadership in London and family in Karachi will decide whether to lodge FIR or not,” Karwani told Arab News.

Arif was a former teacher at the University of Karachi’s department of philosophy and studied at Reading and Harvard universities. He was a known leftist intellectual and rights activist who played a key role in the movement against former president Ziaul Haq in the 1980s and was imprisoned.
In the past, he was also associated with the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Arif was detained for a few days after being arrested from near Karachi Press Club where he was to attend a press conference for the MQM-London, which has been suffering from ongoing crackdown led by paramilitary operation since September 2013.

In a statement, MQM-London said that the professor was missing since yesterday and alleged that he had been killed.

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