Pakistan has launched formal probe into the reports and allegations that India’s RAW gave money to Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party to destabilise the country, officials said today.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan tasked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe various allegations of funding by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to MQM dominated by Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India to Pakistan after partition in 1947.
An official of the Interior Ministry said that the initiative was taken after a prominent businessman and London-based confidante of MQM Sarfaraz Merchant said in a recent TV interview that he had seen proof of Indian funding to MQM.
He said that India also provided money to buy weapons. Merchant said several lists of weapons had been found in the house of MQM chief Altaf Hussain in London during a raid by Scotland Yard in 2014.
India has repeatedly dismissed the claim that it was funding the MQM to destabilise Pakistan. MQM on Monday also rejected as “false” and “baseless” the allegations against it of having ties with RAW.
Hussain fled to the UK in 1992 and later got British citizenship. He has been running the party from London where he is being probed by London police for money laundering.
FIA plans to interrogate Merchant and others. Pakistan will also ask the UK at an appropriate time how and why Hussain, a British citizen, was using Indian money to destabilise Pakistan, the officials said.
Karachi has seen widespread violence for over decades and MQM is often blamed for it but the party always had denied it.