The family of a Bradford biochemist are searching for answers into what they describe as “suspicious” circumstances surrounding his death in Pakistan.

Farooq Ali, 44, spent almost 10 months on sabbatical in Islamabad to fulfil his life-long dream of writing a fiction book.

But he was found dead in his room at the Ramada by Wyndham Islamabad hotel on March 16.

The UK Government has raised the case with local authorities in Pakistan, while a Bradford MP has written to the Pakistan Prime Minister to call for a “fair, thorough, and transparent investigation” into Mr Ali’s death.

After not having phone contact with Mr Ali for five days, the family called the hotel on March 16 to ask them to check on their guest.

Staff called back later that day to say he had suffered a heart attack – a theory the family believes was based more on observation than medical evidence.

Amid questions over the initial police investigation into the death and the lack of a mandatory post mortem, Mr Ali’s body was exhumed two months later. The results of the post mortem have now been published, with the pathologist concluding: “Cause of death cannot be certain.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A snippet of the exhumation report for Bradford's Farooq Ali. Picture: Family handoutA snippet of the exhumation report for Bradford's Farooq Ali. Picture: Family handout

Mr Ali, an aspiring author, led an active and routine life at the hotel, his family say.

He would eat breakfast, play tennis in the nearby courts, and often go for a walk before coming back to his room to write.

The Imperial College graduate ordered room service at least four times a day and spoke regularly with one of his sisters.

The family have seen hotel CCTV which suggests Mr Ali was captured on the hotel’s CCTV for the last time on March 11.

Bradford West MP Naz Shah is working closely with the family and is pressing for answers.

The Labour MP said: “The family believes the circumstances surrounding his death are suspicious and, therefore, I am supporting this family in calling for a fair, thorough, and transparent investigation into Mr Ali’s death to be undertaken.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pictures of Farooq Ali when he was younger, left, and one of the most recent photos the family had of Mr Ali, right. Picture: Family handoutPictures of Farooq Ali when he was younger, left, and one of the most recent photos the family had of Mr Ali, right. Picture: Family handout

She said the family claim that not enough was done to seal off the scene before the police arrived.

Ms Shah says the family say forensic pictures taken at the scene appear to be poor.

She said: “To date, police are yet to interview the hotel management and staff working in the hotel, as well as guests in neighbouring rooms.

“CCTV footage from the days leading up to Mr Ali’s death has still not been investigated.”

Ms Shah added: “The family are not only feeling the grief of losing a loved one but having to face the extreme distress of not being able to lay a loved one to rest due to the need for this investigation.”

Getting to the bottom of their brother’s death has since become a “living hell”, Yusuf Ali, one of the biochemist’s five siblings, said.

The family has several grievances with Islamabad Police, including what they allege is a failure to correctly store forensic samples from Mr Ali’s last meal and conduct a post mortem.

His case has also been raised with the Pakistan Government by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

A spokesperson for the FCDO said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died in Pakistan and continue to raise the case with the local authorities.”

The Telegraph & Argus has attempted to contact Islamabad Police and the Pakistan Government, but has been unable to receive a response.

In a statement, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts said: “As we expressed previously to the decedent’s family, we continue to extend our condolences for the death of Mr Ali.

“Given that this is an active investigation and relates to an independently owned and operated hotel, we’re unable to provide any details or comment further.”

Mr Ali, who attended Priestman Middle School in the BD5 area, was “the glue of the family”, his brother said.

Yusuf told the T&A: “We never expected to do something like this.

“When we first thought it was natural, it was something we had to deal with as a normal grief process. But once we found out it was a suspicious death it’s been a living hell.

“Each time we go to someone to ask for help we have to relive these events by telling that person all over again.

“He’s not just a normal brother, he’s helped me with my education, he taught me so many good stuff when I was younger, he got me into a grammar school by educating me when I was young. He got my sister into grammar school, my other sister into grammar school and when he did he was paying the fees and worked two jobs alongside his studies.

“He had a lot of pride in his siblings. He helped five of us out with our education.

“He was like the glue of the family so now he’s gone we feel like we’re falling apart.”

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