India on Wednesday dismissed as “completely baseless” claims made in a BBC report that it was funding the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), whose UK-based leader Altaf Hussain, and other officials, have been investigated for alleged money-laundering.
External affairs ministry (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “The report on India training MQM members is completely baseless.”
The report also quoted an unnamed Pakistan official as claiming that India had allegedly trained “hundreds of MQM militants in the last 10 years; in explosives, weapons and sabotage over the last 10 years in camps in north and north-east India.”
The report said an unidentified “authoritative Pakistani source” had told the BBC that MQM officials had told UK authorities that “they received Indian government funds”, ostensibly during the investigation by Scotland Yard into allegations of money-laundering.
Dismissing the claims, the Indian high commission said its response mentioned in the BBC report, “Shortcomings of governance cannot be rationalised by blaming neighbours.”
MQM, which espouses the cause of Urdu-speaking mohajirs who migrated from India to Pakistan during Partition, is a formidable political force in Karachi.
The report comes amidst accusations by Islamabad of India’s alleged involvement in violence in the country and that India allegedly tried to thwart Zimbabwe’s cricket tour of Pakistan.