Islamabad: BBC documentary on India’s funding of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has raised eyebrows of all political parties in Pakistan. The Pakistan government has already made request to Britain assisting in establishing India’s link with the funding of the MQM. At the other hand Pakistan’s Punjab Assembly has demanded for treason proceedings to be initiated against MQM.
MQM spokesperson rubbishes all allegations against its party saying it is all trick of Pakistan Army and its agencies which do not want to see a party which is getting much popularity and structured on secular line.
What are the allegations against this party?
RAW is funnelling money into the London account of MQM.
Party leader Tariq Mir (TM) as saying that MQM had India's support and that supremo Altaf Hussain received funding from India.
MQM’s members got weapon training in India under Army and did much covert operation in Pakistan. These are the main charges which were revealed during the interrogation of Tariq Mir.
During the questioning of TM in London police at the Edgware police station in May 2012, which is revealed through the documents got accessed from somewhere which veracity is still doubtful. Following facts came to the light.
“The Indian government supported us because they thought it was good to support us [blocked text]. I don’t remember when I first met the Indians. I did meet them," it reads, quoting an individual TM, believed to be Mir.
“They were from the Indian Intelligence Agency (RAW) as I understood. The senior man was high up and had access to senior/prime minister level,” it reads, quoting TM.
When asked whether Indians were providing MQM with money with a view to supporting civil unrest in Pakistan and create a separate state in Karachi, TM said: "[blocked text] We sent people to India to have weapons training for self defence."
There are many such documents which are released online and on that basis these statements are there in media. Its veracity can be checked through UK Police only which Pakistan has already sought for.
These documents might be leaked from the UK police as UK authorities is already investigating MQM for alleged money laundering and murder of Dr. Imran Farooq. MQM chief Altaf Hussain had also been briefly arrested in London in connection with an investigation in a money laundering case and is presently on bail. The probe started after the Metropolitan Police discovered ‘a considerable amount of money’ during raids on the MQM chief’s residence and office in London.
The police had at the time said that the cash was found when a counter-terrorism unit raided Hussain’s office on Dec 6, 2012, under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in connection with the investigation of Dr Imran Farooq's murder.
Regarding the funding of MQM by Indian agencies creates a niggling doubt when it says that the party received remittances through Dubai’s Rak Bank from one Jasmine Valley General Trading through 2011, 2012, and 2013, totalling $ 1.5 million. The fact that Jasmine Valley has Indian nationals as owners, the source alleged, meant that it could be a RAW front. However, the public record shows that Jasmine Valley, far from being an entity fronting for Indian intelligence, is itself being prosecuted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. The DRI, in 2001, filed charges against multiple entities linked to Jasmine Valley, saying the firm was used to under-invoice imports from Italy, China and Spain to avoid Customs duties. “There are lots of firms in the Emirate that will move money around for you for a fee. The Sunday Express revealed these facts through its article.
Who are MQM?
The MQM is a political party in Karachi. It was founded by Azeem Ahmed Tariq & Altaf Hussain in 1984. At the time of inception, MQM represented only the Muhajir community but after several years, the Muhajir Qaumi Movement changed its name to Muttahida Qaumi Movement, thus welcoming all ethnic groups of Pakistan into its folds. The first political organization of Muhajir was All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization (APMSO) founded on 11 June 1978 by Altaf Hussain in Karachi University. It was launched to protect the Muhajir community who perceived themselves as the victims of discrimination and repression by the quota system that gave preference to certain ethnicities for admissions in educational institutions and employment in civil services. In 1997, MQM replaced the term Muhajir in its name with Muttahida (Urdu for "United").
Interestingly, The party has also partnered in Pakistan’s government, notably supporting the regime of former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf. In 2007, Musharraf himself a Mujahir withdrew all criminal cases against party leaders.
How Pakistan goes about proving these allegations remains to be seen. It all depends upon the evidence to come from the UK, where the MQM is under investigation in two cases. It is believed the Metropolitan Police has greater interest in solving the murder and it was while investigating this case that the London police might have exchanged information on MQM funds with Pakistani authorities.
You may contact Shree Shubham on firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @shubhamshree85