MQM Founder condemns killing of Dr Hasan Zafar

ANI | Updated: Jan 16, 2018 01:25 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], Jan 16 (ANI): Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Founder Altaf Hussain strongly condemned the extrajudicial killings of MQM London's deputy convener Dr Hasan Zafar Arif and drew attention toward the recurring pattern of violence against activism for truth and justice in Pakistan.

"The death of Professor Hassan Arif will not go in vain, he was a fearless and true ideological worker of the MQM, despite being detained arbitrary for several months in 2016, at a time when enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings were a daily occurrence, Professor Arif remained steadfast to his cause," Arif said.

"This cowardice act, of murdering Professor Arif will not deter the Mohajir cause, but will make us stronger to achieve our desired result," he added.

While paying tributes to Professor Arif, Hussain demanded immediate action against the culprits.

"Professor Arif's extrajudicial killing will not be forgotten, and we demand those responsible be brought to justice immediately," he said. Adding, "I pay tribute to Professor Arif for his duties he carried out for the Mohajir nation, and send my deepest condolences to his family members and thousands of his fellow students worldwide."

MQM leader Dr Arif was found dead in a car in Karachi's Ilyas Goth area on Sunday after he was abducted a day earlier.

Dr Arif used to teach Philosophy at the University of Karachi.

"Professor Arif did not succumb to the wishes of the dictators, and chose to be among those who have sacrificed their lives for the struggle of the Mohajirs, as a true martyr," Hussain said.

Professor Arif had also been an ideologue in the Pakistan People's Party under former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who herself was assassinated in a bomb blast.

In October 2016, Arif had undergone a six-month political imprisonment. He was picked up by Pakistan Rangers right outside the Karachi Press Club just before he was to address the media. He was charged with attending an incendiary speech by exiled MQM leader Altaf Hussain. Prior to that, in 1984, he had served 2 years in prison on charges of "anti-dictatorship activism".

In a recent interview, Dr Arif spoke out against paramilitary operations in Pakistan's largest city, which he saw as having the makings of a "holocaust" in areas extending from Karachi to Mirpurkhas.

The murdered professor was an alumnus of the University of Reading and Harvard University. (ANI)