- With British police expected to arrive to interrogate two suspects in Dr Farooq’s murder case, BBC claims MQM received funding from Indian govt
- Confirming SSP Malir Rao Anwar’s charges, BBC says India trained hundreds of MQM militants in India over the last 10 years
- MQM rejects BBC report, says similar charges have been made against party in the past but no evidence has been presented to substantiate them
- Govt says will examine BBC report carefully ‘before considering future line of action over charges
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders have reportedly told investigating authorities of United Kingdom that they have received funding from the Indian government, a claim the Indian government has denied.
According to a BBC report, “a Pakistani official” has claimed that India trained hundreds of MQM militants in explosives, weapons and sabotage in camps in north and north-east India over the last 10 years. This Pakistani official also appears to be the source of information on what MQM leaders allegedly told the UK authorities.
When asked about the claims, the Indian embassy in London told the BBC, “Shortcomings of governance cannot be rationalised by blaming neighbours.”
The BBC report focuses on the investigation by UK authorities into the murder of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq as well as the unearthing of large sums of money in the UK office of the party as well as the Dr Farooq’s residence.
In its report, the BBC claims that the latest revelations confirm charges levelled in April this year by Karachi police official, SSP Malir Rao Anwar. He claimed that two MQM militants arrested in Pakistan were backed by the Indian government and Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), to destabilise Pakistan.
However, the BBC fails to mention that the Pakistan government acted swiftly and dismissed the police official from his post, asking him to report to the Central Police Office following his terrorism remarks. The MQM, too, threatened to take the matter to court.
Further, while the BBC report claims that “UK authorities investigating the MQM for alleged money laundering also found a list of weapons in an MQM property,” its sourcing is problematic. The report does not have a single quote from any UK official or investigative source, entirely relying on Pakistan politicians and officials who offer no basis for their supposed knowledge of the UK investigation and its findings.
There is also a strange ambiguity about the source of information in places such as: “British authorities held formal recorded interviews with senior MQM officials who told them the party was receiving Indian funding, the BBC was told.”
MQM BINS REPORT:
On the contrary, MQM leader Wasay Jalil on Wednesday criticised the BBC report terming it to be another table story. He said that MQM has seen such confessions since 1992 and this report is nothing new for them.
The idea that certain political outfits in Pakistan have often alleged that India’s RAW is behind terror attacks is not new and such claims have repeatedly been dismissed for lack of evidence. One such claim was that India was behind the Peshawar school attack, a charge that was soon dismissed when the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility.
Meanwhile, British police are expected to arrive in Pakistan later this week to interrogate the two suspects in the London murder of Dr Farooq, a founding member of MQM. He was stabbed and beaten to death in Edgware in northwest London as he returned home from work in September 2010. The suspects were in Britain in the period leading up to his murder, and left hours afterwards.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Pakistan would help the British police in a transparent investigation. “We will ensure proper investigation without any prejudice, without any favour,” he told reporters.
However, MQM critics have claimed that the killing of Dr Farooq was linked to an internal dispute in the party, which has been run from London by exiled leader Altaf Hussain for over two decades. The MQM has strongly denied the claims.
Dr Farooq claimed asylum in Britain in 1999. He was wanted in Pakistan on scores of charges including torture and murder related to the MQM’s activities, but always claimed the accusations were politically motivated. He was twice elected an MP in Pakistan, but went into hiding in 1992 when the government ordered a military crackdown against party activists in Karachi.
The mystery of his killing remains thus far unsolved. For now, the BBC report seems to have raised bigger questions about its journalism than offered any answers about his death.
GOVT TO EXAMINE CHARGES:
Commenting on the BBC’s allegations against the MQM, Pakistan’s Minister for Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid said that the government was examining the BBC report and would decide about the future course of action after thorough consideration.
He said that the Foreign Office was also examining the report. It was the responsibility of the government to look into the issues which had been highlighted in the report, he added.