MQM leader's statement corroborates BBC report

Tariq Mir tells UK police about funds and support from India.

By Afzal Khan

Published: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 11:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:59 PM

Islamabad: In another devastating statement corroborating the BBC report, Tariq Mir, a senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), has reportedly told UK authorities about the nexus between his party and the Indian government.

Mir, whose association with MQM in recent months cannot be established with certainty, told London Metropolitan Police that Indians used to pay £800,000 to the party on a yearly basis for running sabotage operations in Karachi. He alleged that party workers also received training from the Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Interestingly, according to transcripts of an interview conducted by the UK police on May 30, 2012, the MQM leader had made the statements ‘voluntarily’ and was ‘not under arrest. He said Altaf Hussain had also received Indian funds along with slain MQM leader Imran Farooq.

Mir told the British police: “At some stage our expenses (of the secretariat) were about £100,000 per month. I was aware of our significant increase in funding as a result of the Indian connection. That funding continued for, I cannot be exact. But due to £10,000 cash limit (on importing currency), on some occasions, we got businessmen to receive the money and use it to pay MQM’s expenses.”

“The Indians approached us — questions were asked about people without passports, etc. ... In about 1994, we started getting some money, some of our frozen accounts were released. In 1995-96, I took-over the finance from (Nadeem) Nusrat and ... that money was coming from India,” he said.

Asked whether MQM chief Altaf Hussein knew about the Indian money, Tariq Mir said Hussein would receive all money coming in from India.

“He got his money from different sources. The Indian government funded us because they thought it was good to support us,” he added.

“It was very secret... The money would have come via Anwar, because apart from me, Anwar and Dr F knew about the money. So far as I know, no one else in the party, apart from Anwar, had the money. No one but the four of us knew about it.”

According to the transcripts, Mir said he did not exactly remember when the meetings with Indians started.

“I do not remember when I first met with the Indians. ... First meeting, with the Indians was in Vienna or Rome. (Mohammed) Anwar and (Altaf) Hussein were present. We had three or four meetings. One was definitely in Rome, one in Vienna, one in Zurich, one in a small city of Austria (Salzburg); a meeting in Paraguay. First meeting was probably in Rome,” Mir asserted.

“The meetings were held whenever they wanted to meet. The purpose of the meetings was to get to know one and other; I believe their names were not the real names,” Mir added.

Tariq Mir said the Indian visitors who met with MQM leaders were from the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and the head of delegation had direct access to the Indian prime minister.

About who initiated Indian money, Tariq Mir said he did not know for sure who facilitated getting the money to Altaf Hussein.

About funding request of pounds one million needed urgently to Indians, Mir said the pound one million would be to do with the houses.

“The request to Indians (related) for money for more workers. We asked for the funding but I do not believe the Indian people ever paid anything like what we wanted. Some of the expense may have gone on weapons training. People would have been sent to India to get some weapons training”.

MQM’s Rabita Committee terming the documents as ‘fabricated’ said it was part of an ongoing media trial against the party. “These statements claimed to be Mir’s are part of an ongoing media trial against the party,” the Rabita Committee said.

More news from WORLD