KARACHI: Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) chairman, Afaq Ahmed has alleged that his rival, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), under Altaf Hussain, had acquired containers full of weapons belonging to NATO after 2002, as confirmed by reports by then Karachi police chief Shoaib Suddle.
Speaking in the second part of an exclusive Express News show To the Point with host Shahzaib Khanzada on Friday evening, Afaq said that police reports of NATO weapons containers disappearing from Port Qasim were authentic and that the MQM had received them.
He added that the lack of a hue and cry on NATO’s part signalled complicity. Additionally, Afaq said that former President Musharraf was a party to the plan. He called him an “American agent”.
Providing details of an alleged “weaponisation programme”, Afaq alleged that the “containers were first removed from Port Qasim and placed at the construction site of an underpass for vehicles in Liaquatabad.” When the construction project was completed, the containers vanished, as has been documented in police reports.
Of target killers and running operations from jail
With both the MQM and MQM-H rumoured to maintain hit squads, the host first took to Afaq, questioning whether his party maintained a militant wing. Afaq categorically denied this, asking the host why they would need a militant wing in the first place.
When asked whether he was issuing orders to militants in his party, Afaq said that those who claim to have received orders have been arrested and are under trial. “If anyone feels I have been issuing orders from inside prison, they can file an FIR against me. I have faced trial before and will do so again.”
Turning the talk on to the other foot, the MQM-H chief claimed that he was in fact a victim of the MQM target killers, Ajmal Pahari in particular. “Why does the government not go and ask the family members of those targeted by Ajmal Pahari, who has confessed to a hundred murders?”
Afaq added that when Zulfiqar Mirza said he would be going to London to present evidence against Altaf Hussain, he provided video recordings of alleged target killer Saulat Mirza. “I provided him with recordings of Saulat Mirza confessing to killing Shahid Hamid and others on the orders of Altaf Hussain.”
MQM-H had contact with Imran Farooq till six months before his death
Afaq said that his party, the MQM-H, had been in contact with the MQM’s Dr Imran Farooq, who was murdered outside his house in London, in September 2010.
He said that before his death, Farooq had developed differences with Altaf Hussain over party policies and Farooq was in contact with members in Pakistan and some people in America.
Afaq went on to claim that Farooq was even in contact with Musharraf and that the former president of Pakistan was shocked when Farooq was killed. However, the host provided Musharraf’s statements in which the general declined any links with Farooq.
The MQM-H chief went on to say that two MQM members travelling from Sri Lanka under pseudonyms, were arrested at the Karachi airport following a Scotland Yard tipoff. When reminded that Pakistani and British authorities had denied this report, Afaq countered that “the ISI never confirmed nor denied their actions,” and insisted that the arrests had taken place.
Afaq said that he was in the process of reorganising his party, which has engrossed him since his release. He added that he would be speaking to a number of political leaders including Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Shahi Syed of the Awami National Party.
Pressed about the funds required to run and maintain a party, he said that, “there were political parties which operated without funds.”
He said that in the early days he used to work in the Korangi Trade association as a clerk, and had even worked in a match factory at one point in time to raise funds for his politics. Afaq said that his father was not a poor man, but that he could not ask his father for funds.
He categorically rejected that his part had links to the army or the ISI or that he received any money from them.