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.
“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.
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.