Pakistan's security institutions to investigate MQM's funding
Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said that if allegations of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) receiving Indian funds are authenticated, action will be taken against them. "Institutions relating to national security are handling this matter and are collecting the facts," he said. Chaudhry said, "Pakistan reserves the right to raise this matter on every international forum once we have gathered credible information."
MQM - The Party
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) is a secular political party in Pakistan mostly representing the Urdu-speaking Muhajirs (Muslim immigrants and their descendants from India who migrated to Pakistan after the partition). It was founded by Altaf Hussain in 1984 as Muhajir Qaumi Movement. Muhajir from MQM was replaced with Muttahida (united) in 1997. MQM has since been a dominant political force in Karachi.
MQM in Pak politics
MQM won the local body elections in November 1987. In 1988, it entered into an alliance with PPP (Pakistan People's Party) to form a coalition government in Sindh. In 1990 elections, MQM became the third most popular party in Pakistan. Between 1992-1994, MQM was selectively targeted by Pakistan Army in an Operation Cleanup aimed at eliminating terrorism. This left thousands of MQM workers dead.
Operation Cleanup in Sindh
Operation Cleanup was a government-initiated military operation ostensibly aimed at cracking down 'anti-social' elements in Sindh but became a witch hunt against the MQM. MQM was targeted over the controversy of Jinnahpur plan - an alleged plot on having the city of Karachi breakaway from Pakistan to serve as a homeland for the Mujahir Community. This was considered the bloodiest period in Karachi's history.
MQM accused of violence
After Altaf Hussain left the country during Operation Cleanup, the party was run by him from exile. In mid-1990s, MQM was accused of political violence. MQM's use of extra-legal activities to deal with political opponents was the reason for it. The U.S. State Department and Amnesty International accused the MQM of killings, torture, and other abuses. The MQM though, denied involvement in violence.
Elections, alliances and more
In 2001, MQM boycotted local elections. In the 2002 general elections, it secured 17 seats in National Assembly. The 2008 elections saw MQM win 25 seats in the National Assembly to form an alliance with PPP. In 2013 too, MQM swept the polls in Karachi. In June 2014, the London police raided Altaf Hussain's home in London in connection with a money-laundering case.
Canada declares MQM as terrorist organization
In 2006, the Federal Court of Canada declared MQM as a terrorist organization, not allowing party members to visit and stay in Canada. It considered MQM to be a serious security threat to Canada.
BBC report claims MQM received Indian funding
BBC told that British authorities investigating money laundering charges against MQM found that the party had received Indian funding. The UK authorities started investigating the MQM in 2010 when a party leader was killed in London. Indian authorities dismissed the claims as "completely baseless". MQM too has strongly denied the allegations saying authorities in Pakistan were running a campaign against MQM.