BBC reporter stands by MQM funding story

Says sources authentic refuses to disclose names


News Desk June 26, 2015
PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

Journalist Owen Bennett-Jones, whose story on MQM receiving funds from India has created political turmoil in Pakistan, said on Thursday that his sources are authentic and he stands by every word of his story.

In a brief interview to a news channel, OBJ said it was against journalistic norms to disclose the sources, but all of sources were knowledgeable persons.

He refused to disclose if the sources were Pakistani or British. Replying to a question if his story can be used as evidence against MQM in the ongoing cases in London, OBJ said he does not know anything about it.

Read: Altaf refutes BBC's 'Raw agent' allegations against MQM

“I am busy with my professional obligations,” he said. To another query, the seasoned reporter said that he has not prepared any follow-up of the story he had done on MQM.

On targeting the Muttahida, OBJ said it was not true. “In my book on Pakistan’s history, there are only two pages on  the MQM. I have never targeted any party personally,” he said.

On the reaction of the Indian government, the reporter said that Indian authorities had declared the news as baseless.

Read: BBC report strengthens our apprehensions against India: Nisar

Regarding the authenticity of the news about recovery of a list of arms and ammunition from an office of the MQM in London during the money-laundering investigations, OBJ said it was true.

However, he remained adamant on not giving a faintest hint not even geographical location like UK or Pakistan about his sources. He said that BBC is a very responsible organisation and will never carry unauthenticated news.

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

COMMENTS (33)

Asok | 6 years ago | Reply @Harris, UK police have confirmed that the claim of such a confessional statement is fake. Now what do you have to say?
Hawkins | 6 years ago | Reply Another moment of shame for our eastern neighbors. With the recent revelations of the senior MQM leader Tariq Mir there is little room left for apprehensions regarding the Indian funding in which he admitted that the Indians used to pay 800,000 pound sterling to the MQM per annum for running its operations. RAW should now be included into the list of globally banned terror organizations for conspiring to kill innocent people in Karachi. It should also be held accountable for its state sponsored terror activities which RAW is party to in the Indian Occupied Kashmir not to mention its role in the genocide of the Khalistan movement.
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