JIT to quiz ex-MQM leaders

RAW connection

Zeeshan Javaid

Islamabad—A 5-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) would formally contact MQM ex-top leaders to gather more information as it has started a ‘detailed probe’ of the allegations leveled by Sarfaraz Merchant in media regarding funding of MQM leadership, by RAW, money laundering and illegal purchase of weapons by MQM leadership, it has been learnt.
The JIT having representation of FIA, ISI, IB and Sindh Rangers would contact the ex-MQM leaders in the second phase so as to reach the truth pertaining to the allegations against the MQM leadership, said the sources.
The notification, seen by Pakistan Observer stated that the JIT would consist of Dr. Mazhar-ul-Haq Kakakhel director FIA, one representative of IB, two representatives of ISI and a representative of Sindh Rangers, Raja Tahir Iqbal. According to the ToRs of the JIT, it would probe statement given by Sarfaraz Merchant to FIA and also seek assistance from any federal or provincial departments during the course of its investigation. Sarfaraz Merchant, one of the suspects in London money-laundering case involving top leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on party’s alleged links with India.
According to Sarfaraz Merchant, the Scotland Yard in London had seized several lists of weapons during raids at the MQM chief’s residence as part of the money-laundering investigation. Sarfaraz Merchant, a close friend of senior MQM leader Muhammad Anwar, said that the Scotland Yard told him the political party has been receiving Indian funding. Sources said that Marchant shared the official document about Indian funding to MQM with a senior political figure, who was previously associated with MQM and is presently holding a key position in Sindh government. “I was shocked to find that an Indian company in Dubai was transferring money into MQM’s accounts,” he said while recording his statement with FIA.
According to Merchant, Muhammad Anwar a senior MQM leader resided in London used to travel to India on regular basis and once also asked him to come along but he refused. Sarfaraz Merchant said the Scotland Yard has credible evidence of Indian funding to the MQM.
Merchant conceded that he lent 35,000 UK pounds to MQM during the general elections in 2013. He further said he gave a total amount of 250,000 to MQM on different occasion.

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