KARACHI (Web Desk) – Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Tariq Mir’s alleged statement to London Metropolitan Police, given on May 30, 2012, has surfaced on social media, in which he had confessed about Indian funding to the party.
The statement surfaces following a BBC story accusing MQM of getting funds from India earlier in the week. The news story claimed that two of MQM’s senior London-based leaders had confessed to receiving funds from India.
According to the alleged statement surfaced late on Friday, MQM chief Altaf Hussain and leaders Mohammad Anwar, Dr Imran Farooq and Mir himself were aware of Indian funding to the party.
“Altaf Hussain, Muhammed Anwar, Imran Farooq and I were well aware of Indian liaisons,” Tariq Mir said in a statement given to Britain’s Scotland Yard police.
Documents suggesting that a senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader had disclosed the party’s alleged links to India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency during an interview with British authorities.
The first meeting with Indian officials was held in Rome, said Mir in the statement. “We were sure that Indians didn’t reveal their actual names to us,” he added.
The funds from India was received for the first time in 1994, the statement says adding Muhammed Anwar was the medium for contacts with India.
Four officials of Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), used to attend these meetings, the MQM leader said, adding various issues pertaining to Pakistani politics, Afghanistan, Taliban and particularly Karachi situation came under discussion.
“We were informed two days in advance prior to such meetings as this,” he told the British police, adding he arranged air tickets and hotels.
Regarding Altaf Hussain, Tariq Mir stated that Hussain was aware of the Indian funding, adding that MQM workers were sent to India for training.
Following the meeting, MQM workers were sent to India to receive ‘training’. He said the party started receiving Indian money, which according to him was 800,000 UK Pounds sterling per annum, from 1994. In 1995, financial matters of the party were withdrawn from Nadeem Nusrat, he said.
He said the Indian officials also wanted to meet with Altaf Hussain in order to keep the contacts alive. “I think those officials were from Indian spy agency RAW,” said Mir. “And one of those officials had direct links with Indian prime minister,” he recalled.
“May be 1 million pounds were demanded … How much money was exactly provided by the Indian officials is difficult to recall now.”
Mir, however, added that monthly expenditures of the MQM’s London Secretariat touched a million pounds mark by then. “Our funding substantially increased after contacts with the Indian officials,” he said.
In the beginning, payments were made in dollars, said the MQM leader. However, due to lengthy procedures of converting dollars of such amounts into pounds, the Indian officials started making payments in British pounds, said Tariq Mir.
Later speaking with a Pakistani TV channel, Geo News, former member of MQM’s Rabita Committee Tariq Mir neither verified nor did he refute the report. “I cannot comment on a statement given to police,” he said.