India allegedly funds Pakistan’s MQM

Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement allegedly benefits from Indian funds

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Officials of Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) reportedly told UK authorities that the party received funds from the Indian government, according to a Wednesday report by the BBC.

As UK authorities have launched an investigation against the claims of money laundering, they also found a list of the weapons in a property belonging to the party.

An unnamed Pakistani official told the BBC that India has been training MQM militants with special funds provided by the Indian government for 10 years.

"Before 2005-2006 the training was given to a small number of mid-ranking members of the MQM,” the official said, according to the report.

"More recently greater numbers of more junior party members have been trained," it continued.

Indian authorities and the party officials denied all allegations which were reported by the BBC.

According to the Indian authorities, the claims are "completely baseless."

The MQM is represented via 24 members in the National Assembly and is a dominant figure in Karachi’s policy.

The first investigation was launched in 2010 by UK authorities following the death of a senior party leader, Imran Farooq, who was found dead in the garden of his home in north London.

As a result of the investigation, police seized around $787,000 (£500,000) in the MQM's London offices and also inside MQM leader Altaf Hussain’s home. Results of the first investigation made way for the second investigation after indications of money laundering.

UK police also captured a list itemising weapons including mortars, grenades and bomb-making equipment in an MQM property following the investigations, according to a Pakistani media report. But there has been no response regarding the list from the MQM.

Last year, a judge who heard the case said "There is overwhelming objective evidence that the MQM for decades had been using violence."

Pakistani security forces claimed that they found scores of weapons after they raided the party’s headquarter in Karachi. But the MQM blamed Pakistan saying that the weapons were planted.

The MQM had an emergency meeting with the party’s coordination committee shortly after the BBC report was released.

The party defended itself saying that the report is a media trial against the party which has been active for several years.

The MQM’s spokesman, Saif Muhammad Ali claimed that the party has never been a subject to any funding or training from India, adding that Pakistani authorities have been running propaganda against his party.   

The allegations came shortly after Rao Anwar, a senior Karachi police officer, said in April that two MQM militants confessed that they were trained in India by the Indian intelligence agency RAW.

MQM leader Altaf Hussain has strongly opposed Anwar’s statements.

The Indian High Commission in London spoke against the claims saying, "Shortcomings of governance cannot be rationalised by blaming neighbours."

Several top officials of the party, including Altaf Hussain, who lives  in self-imposed exile in the UK, have been detained for money laundering, but none of them have been charged.

The party claims all legal incomes are provided from donors in the business community in Karachi.

TRTWorld and agencies