THE Pakistani high commissioner has called on the Met Police to find the “sinister hand” behind what he described as an assassination of an exiled political leader in Edgware yesterday.

Father-of-two Dr Imran Farooq, the convenor of the central committee of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), was stabbed “multiple times” outside his home in Green Lane at about 5.30pm.

Following a meeting with top officials of the MQM at their Edgware High Street headquarters today, high commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan condemned the killing.

Speaking exclusively to the Times Series, he said: “The Pakistani government has condemned this murder in the strongest possible words. It's a great loss.

“We are in the process of consolidating democracy and he was a source of strength and we feel that whichever sinister hand is behind this assassination, whether it's an individual attack or a group of people, we expect the British police to bring them to book and provide a suitable punishment.”

The murder of Dr Farooq, who ran a pharmacy in central London, has provoked disruption on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, as the MQM is the third largest party in the country.

Mr Hasan added: “I've known him for almost three decades. He's a family man, a gentleman, a perfect human being. He was really highly respected by whatever political groups.

“He had a really sharp mind, he was very precise and concise in his observations and comments.

“He believed more in solutions to problems than creating problems and his assassination needs to be condemned in the strongest possible way because he was not a violent person.”

Dr Farooq's wife and two sons, aged three and five, have been taken into protective police custody while the investigation is ongoing, according to party officials.

They confirmed other prominent members are also taking steps to ensure their personal safety, and a police guard is patrolling outside the headquarters.

Dr Farooq has been in hiding from persecution in Pakistan since 1992, and fled to England in 1999, settling in Edgware.

Party spokesman Wasay Jalil said the attack, timed to coincide with the birthday celebrations for the founder, was designed to cause “maximum disruption” to their organisation across the world.