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THE MQM’s activities, particularly that of the party’s chief, have been in the news recently after a British TV programme revealed various details that have emerged in the course of MQM leader Imran Farooq’s 2010 murder investigation. As reported in the BBC Two’s Newsnight programme, Altaf Hussain is being investigated after a large amount of money — around £400,000 in cash — was discovered in raids conducted by the London Metropolitan Police from two properties connected to him. While it is normal for parties to raise funds from supporters for political activities both in Pakistan and abroad, the discovery of such a large amount of cash in a foreign country is bound to raise eyebrows. Some experts are of the view that this may lead to money laundering charges, though no one has been formally charged yet and the MQM has denied all accusations of wrongdoing. However the broadcast has opened up a Pandora’s Box. Many of the points raised in the programme were already being discussed in the public domain, though perhaps in hushed tones, while other revelations were new.

It is quite possible that the funds in question were personal donations or money meant for party use. For most Pakistanis it is understandable, and perhaps even acceptable, to have such a large amount of cash without declaring it for tax purposes. But the British authorities, who follow a very strict tax regime, may not understand this practice. Therefore, the MQM and its leadership need to move very carefully in this regard. Instead of describing the investigation as a conspiracy or criticising media reports as “character assassination” of its leader, the MQM needs to cooperate with and satisfy the London police because what is important here is for the party to clear its name in the eyes of the British law enforcement authorities, not just its supporters in Pakistan. Full cooperation must also be extended in the Imran Farooq case as the MQM leadership has also said it wants the killers to be brought to justice.

Comments (5) Closed

nazeer Baloch Jul 14, 2013 10:44am

the killing of Imran Farooq is a mystery in London, but we do not expcet british governament to stop investigation. They will certainly reach a point and will solve this mystry.The suspect are under investigation and Pakistani citizens are eagerly waiting for final scene of this case.

sarfaraz Jul 14, 2013 11:16am

It's right time to call a spade a spade. You may also refer to at least two articles written and published in DAWN by none else but one the most eminent writers of Pakistan, Ardheshir Cowasjee - how a MQM Nazim of Karachi siphoned billions and billions out of the development funds to London (obviously to Altaf Hussain).

Gerry D'Cunha Jul 14, 2013 05:33pm

all that glitters is not gold - mqm is responsible for its own mistakes - it had emerged as an uprising party for the poor who had hopes for their future but their hopes have been shattered after getting all the negative news from mqm headquarters

Salamat Ali , Jul 14, 2013 11:38pm

An act of killing someone in London has become a challenge case for the British police and they are doing their duty without political interference or outside pressure. In Pakistan such cases are treated as unnecessary headache and are just filed and closed. We in Pakistan want to see justice to the bereaved family of Dr. Imran. Let us hope that such-like investigations by the professional Scotland police will ultimately make many things clear to Pakistanis and they will be able to understand many questions of how and why about MQM.

.skhan Jul 14, 2013 11:43pm

Both Altaf Husssain and Brtish government should be investigated. It is mind boggling that a foreigner( AH holds British Passport) is allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign country in a violent manner. Just imagine how British Government and the people would react if someone from Karachi was inciting bunch of British citizens to sometime extreme behaviour. Altaf Hussain was also feeding British Govt. MQM support in fighting terrorism to ward off any action against him. His letter to Tony Blair through Sri Lankan MP from his constituency was an attempt in that regard. It looks as if noose is tightening. MQM should shun violence and choose new leadership to contribute to the stability in Pakistan and fair play for its followers. Let this control freak face the law of Britain.