Pak PM orders probe after reports allege Indian funds for MQM
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today ordered a probe into the funding of Muttahida Qaumi Movement after a report alleged that India has helped the party with funds and training to create trouble in Karachi, the country's largest city.
In a report titled 'Pakistan's MQM received Indian funding', the BBC has claimed it was informed by Pakistani officials that two senior MQM leaders told British police probing the MQM for alleged money laundering that India provided training and funds.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi met Sharif at Prime Minister's House here and briefed him about the report, according to officials.
Sharif was informed that concerned departments of the Interior Ministry were carrying out investigations following the report, sources said.
The Prime Minister ordered "a proper probe" to ascertain the truth.
The BBC report has provoked a storm in Pakistan. But MQM has rejected the report, terming it a campaign to vilify the party.
"Such charges were levelled in media against the MQM in the past and later on those who levelled the charges took back them back," MQM spokesman Muhammad Ali Saif has said.
According to the report, UK authorities investigating the MQM for alleged money laundering were told by a Pakistani source about the party's alleged Indian connections.
With 24 members in the National Assembly, the MQM is a dominant political force in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi.
The party enjoys huge support in Pakistan's Mohajir community -- the Urdu-speaking Muslims who migrated from India during the 1947 partition and are mostly based in Karachi.
Its leader Altaf Hussain fled to the UK in 1992 after military operation was launched against the party and was given British citizenship in 2002.