A BBC report claiming that India has been funding the political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has received denials from all corners and criticism on social media in India and Pakistan.
According to the report, a Pakistani official has told the British public broadcaster that India has trained hundreds of MQM militants over the past ten years. The political party has been a major force in the politics of the city of Karachi in Pakistan.
The BBC says that it was told that the British authorities had interrogated senior MQM officials who had revealed a source of funding as India. The official reportedly also told the BBC that in 2005-06 several mid-ranking officials of the MQM had received training in India, and that recently, a lot many junior party members also received training here.
The report comes after a senior Karachi police official Rao Anwar claimed in April that two MQM members had confessed to him that they received training in India. Weapons had been reportedly found at an MQM property by British authorities in 2010.
The party reportedly has a strong base of refugees from the Partition era and claim to be a secular party for the middle-classes in Pakistan.
The BBC report has met with denials and criticism though:
The Indian authorities have said the claims are “totally baseless” and the Indian High Commission in London has said that “Shortcomings of governance cannot be rationalised by blaming neighbours.”
MQM leader Wasay Jalil took to Twitter, calling it a “table report”.
.@OmarWaraich we have seen these confessions since 92' so no worries— Wasay Jalil (@WasayJalil) June 24, 2015
Journalists from Pakistan have not found it too amusing:
The BBC report says that India said the MQM funding claim was "totally baseless" - it said the MQM "said it was not going to comment"— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) June 24, 2015
To paraphrase previous tweets: do we even have one UK source confirming what authoritative #Pakistan source said about MQM and Indian funds?— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) June 24, 2015
Neither have some from India:
Dear @BBCWorld story on claim of India MQM is disappointing journalism given the grave charge. What were the editorial checks do share— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 24, 2015
So basis for contention of Indian funding to MQM - a major allegation - is 'British authorities told Beeb' ? No quotes/ transcripts?— Sreenivasan Jain (@SreenivasanJain) June 24, 2015
@DevirupaM just surprised that @owenbennetjone doesn't try for a second source/UK officials/Indian response ....only hearsay— Suhasini Haidar (@suhasinih) June 24, 2015