LONDON (Web Desk) – Officials in Muttahida Qaumi Movement have told the British authorities they received funds from Indian government, the BBC reported.
UK authorities investigating the MQM for alleged money laundering also found a list of weapons in an MQM property.
A Pakistani official has told the BBC that India has trained hundreds of MQM militants over the last 10 years.
The Indian authorities described the claims as “completely baseless”. The MQM said it was not going to comment. MQM has 24 members in the National Assembly.
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British authorities held formal recorded interviews with senior MQM officials who told them the party was receiving Indian funding, the BBC was told.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani official has told the BBC that India has trained hundreds of MQM militants in explosives, weapons and sabotage over the last 10 years in camps in north and north-east India.
Before 2005-2006 the training was given to a small number of mid-ranking members of the MQM, the official said.
The claims follow the statement of a senior Karachi police officer that two arrested MQM militants said they had been trained in India. In April Rao Anwar gave details of how the two men went to India via Thailand to be trained by the Indian intelligence agency RAW.
Read more: MQM workers trained by Indian RAW: SSP Malir
In response, MQM leader Altaf Hussain issued a tirade of abuse at Rao Anwar.
Asked about the claims of Indian funding and training of the MQM, the Indian High Commission in London said: “Shortcomings of governance cannot be rationalised by blaming neighbours.”
The UK authorities started investigating the MQM in 2010 when a senior party leader, Imran Farooq, was stabbed to death outside his home in London.
In the course of those inquiries, the police found around £500,000 ($787,350) in the MQM’s London offices and in the home of MQM leader Altaf Hussain. That prompted a second investigation into possible money laundering.
Born in Karachi in 1953 to a middle-class family; studied pharmacy at university.
Formed MQM party in 1984 to represent Mohajirs – descendants of Urdu-speaking Muslims who migrated from India to Pakistan.
Requested political asylum in UK in 1992, later gained British citizenship; continues to run MQM from north London.
In the course of the inquiries the UK authorities found a list itemising weapons, including mortars, grenades and bomb-making equipment in an MQM property, according to Pakistani media reports that the BBC believes to be credible.
The list included prices for the weapons. Asked about the list, the MQM made no response.
As the UK police investigations have progressed, the British judiciary has been taking an increasingly tough line on the MQM. Back in 2011 a British judge adjudicating an asylum appeal case found that “the MQM has killed over 200 police officers who have stood up against them in Karachi”.
Last year another British judge hearing another such case found: “There is overwhelming objective evidence that the MQM for decades had been using violence.”
The MQM is also under pressure in Pakistan. In March the country’s security forces raided the party’s Karachi headquarters.
They claimed to have found a significant number of weapons there. The MQM said they were planted.
MQM insists it is a peaceful, secular party representing the interests of the middle classes in Pakistan.