The plot thickens

MQM is a major party with huge following in Karachi. It needs to explain its position given seriousness of allegations

Editorial June 25, 2015

The dramatic BBC report detailing how the MQM has allegedly received training from India in the use of weapons and also funds from that country, has naturally created a major stir in Pakistan. Yes, such allegations have surfaced before — in April from SSP Rao Anwar in Karachi, and from others before that date. But as a credible, independent news source, one is forced to admit that the BBC report carries some weight.

The statements in the report that MQM officials, talking to UK authorities, had stated that the party received funding from India, and a Pakistani official revealing that MQM mid-level operatives had allegedly received weapons training in India a decade ago followed by more junior level members of the party, come at a time when relations between Islamabad and New Delhi are already tense. India has categorically denied the charges as has the MQM. But the entire saga will not end so quickly. The BBC has also reported that an itemised list of weapons available to the party was found on one of the premises of the MQM raided in London, following the investigation into the murder of senior party leader Dr Imran Farooq.

The BBC report has come at a time when an operation continues in Karachi against criminal elements backed by political ones, and it is now understood that the security establishment has sought a treason case against the MQM leadership. The government will be under pressure to pursue the matter. Receiving funds and weapons from India, as well as training on its soil, will obviously be considered the gravest of offences. There is a need to proceed sensibly and on the basis of rationality rather than emotion. The MQM is a major party with a huge following in Karachi. It needs to be asked to explain its position given the seriousness of the allegations. While any criminal elements within the party must be apprehended, it is also important that every action taken must fall within the framework of the law of the land so that due process can be followed and the allegations made, properly investigated. This whole saga will have vast political implications for a country already facing a degree of political turmoil. All concerned need to proceed wisely.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2015.

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S.R.H. Hashmi | 8 years ago | Reply In your editorial, you describe BBC as a credible, independent news source. However, the fact is that BBC can only be described as a mostly credible source because there have been instances where the BBC had to apologize for wrong reporting. On occasions, it even sacked its reporters for that very reason and BBC also had to pay damages to people for defaming them through wrong reporting. And at this stage, it is difficult to determine whether this case falls in the ‘mostly credible’ category or in the other category where BBC erred. When asked about his sources, the report writer Owen Bennett-Jones refused to divulge these but claimed that they were all knowledgeable people. However, being a knowledgeable person does not necessarily mean being unbiased and having impeccable integrity. For example, former British prime minister Tony Blair was indeed a knowledgeable person but that did not stop him from fabricating stories about Saddam’s Hussain’s weapons of mass destruction on which pretext he invaded Iraq jointly with another knowledgeable person George Bush, and together they caused the deaths of nearly one million innocent Iraqis and thousands of their own, apart from creating circumstances which have destabilized the whole region. And as for reports that hundreds of MQM workers received training for terrorists activities in, and received funding from India, isn’t it strange that a middle ranking police officer unearthed the plot while the country’s spy agencies which take pride in their work, and rightly so, remained completely unaware of it? Also through the use of extreme torture, one can get people admit to anything. However, in this case, the culprits also admitted their role before the JIT. But for a person having a reputation for ruthlessness, it is possible to get people to admit things even before JITs by threatening to harm his family members, especially females, in case he failed to do what he was asked to do. We also know about the Jinnahpur conspiracy case against MQM made up by some senior military officers and dismissed later as a complete fabrication by yet another senior military officer. Coming back to BBC considered by you as an independent, credible source, I would say that it is a perception which may hold true most of the time but not always, because after all it is a perception and not a reality. For example, the British government claims itself to be a great upholder of rule of aw and justice. And in pursuance of this, it has almost turned London upside down, and has also reached as far as Pakistan in order to apprehend and punish the murderers of Dr. Imran Farooq. However, the same government which has such high ideals seems to be least bothered about a known and easily accessible mass murderer Tony Blair, and has not considered it fit to subject him even to a minor judicial process. So, you see, the reality at times can be quite different from the perception. Karachi
khan shahzaib | 8 years ago | Reply @Abacus What about India blaming Pakistan for all of their own follies?...Remember Samjhota Express, Mumbai Attacks and Kashmir dispute????
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