Prof Hasan Arif died of heart attack, says daughter

After police probing the mysterious death of Muttahida Qaumi Movement London’s (MQM-L) Deputy Convener Professor Hasan Zafar Arif ruled out murder, his daughter took to Facebook to clarify the rumours surrounding her father’s death.

Shehrazade Zafar-Arif, late Wednesday, released a statement on social media saying certain people were “trying to exploit his death for their political agenda, while others are, out of a sense of love and admiration for him, trying to seek justice for what they believe to be a crime.”

Police rule out murder in MQM leader’s death

“My father, Dr Zafar-Arif, died on Sunday the 14th of January of what all evidence points to as being a heart attack. The media is portraying his death as a brutal murder and some are, disgracefully, putting up photoshopped images of his body (and heavily edited videos – yes, videos can be edited, technology is amazing) on social media with claims that he was tortured. I don’t think I need to point out how disrespectful this is towards his memory and his family, not to mention dishonest and unethical.”

Prof Arif was found dead in Karachi under mysterious circumstances on the back seat of his car on the morning of January 14.

Earlier reports suggested that the family and friends claimed that Prof Arif, 72, went missing a day before his death, and later was found dead in his silver-coloured Mitsubishi lancer from the Ilyas Goth in Karachi’s Ibrahim Hyderi neighbourhood.

Although, traces of blood were found on the deceased’s face, as the victim’s nose and head were bleeding, hospital officials said initial results from the post-mortem exam did not reveal any signs of torture. The doctors also said that the deceased died of a natural death and most probably the cause was a heart attack.

MQM-L’s legal aid committee member Abdul Majeed Karwani, said, “He was last seen in his friend’s office in Saddar and since then had gone missing.”

However, according to Prof Arif’s daughter, a heart attack was the reason for her father’s passing. “I never thought I would have to speak in such detail about my own father’s death, but the circumstances have left me no choice,” she explained.

“The circumstances under which he was found are not as dramatic or suspicious as the media wishes you to believe – he was missing for one night, his car was found in an area he was known to frequent, and his mobile phones were likely stolen through the rolled down windows of the car by members of the general public who were on the scene when the police arrived. The post-mortem report is not yet out, we are waiting on it, and until then, we have no real reason to believe it was anything but a heart attack.”

Body of MQM-L leader found near Ibrahim Hyderi

Shehrazade Zafar-Arif hoped that “those who read this understand that I of all people would be the last to cover up the truth about my father’s death. I only want the public to know the facts rather than believing lies, propaganda and exaggeration. Unless the post-mortem report says otherwise, we must believe, based on all the evidence and my own account as a first-hand witness, that it was a natural death.”

“My father was not a victim, and I do not want him to be remembered as such. I will not allow his legacy to be based on lies. He belonged not only to me, but also to the people of Pakistan, whom he fought so hard for throughout his life,” she said while clarifying that she was not making the statement under any pressure.


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