The rumours swirling since yesterday morning materialised in the form of a shattering BBC report on the MQM’s alleged funding and training by the Indian intelligence. While these allegations have recently been levied even within Pakistan, it is the first time a credible news source has corroborated them with input from UK authorities.

While detractors of the report (including the MQM) are quick to analyse the sourcing of the story — understandable, given the history of accusations traded between Pakistan and India on a regular basis — what cannot be explained away is the fact that British authorities have MQM workers on record giving details of the funding and training. What cannot be explained away is the list of weapons and their prices found at MQM offices in London, and stacks of weapons at MQM offices in Karachi. What cannot be explained away is that Pakistani and British authorities are now coming across the same findings in their investigations of cases related to the MQM.

The BBC story alleges that the training has been ongoing for the last ten years. This begs the question of all those who will crow vindication for the stance of the Pakistani authorities: What exactly have the Pakistan intelligence agencies been doing for the last ten years? Were they not aware of these activities? Does it take a report in the BBC or the NYT for Pakistan to spring to action?

Meanwhile, India’s facetious, trite, and utterly inadequate reply insists that neighbouring Pakistan is unjustly blaming its woes on India. What the Indian High Commission in London failed to http://nation.com.pk/admin/content_edit/print/article/400256note in its reply was that it was not its neighbour, but British authorities and British media which has broken the story. India’s habit of playing the gormless innocent is all but indecent, were it not for the tragic fact that India and Pakistan have a made it a habit to compete in this regard.

Indian interference in Pakistan is consistent and well documented, and Indian politicians have publicly confessed to this fact in recent statements; yet Pakistan and India also have a history of trading accusations of interference periodically and consistently. Thus claims from Pakistani officials must be taken with a pinch of salt, especially since the MQM has been accused of this during the 1990s too; an accusation which was soon forgotten in changing political circumstances. The fact that sets this report apart from past formulations is that it quotes British authorities, which held formal recorded interviews with senior MQM officials who told them the party was receiving Indian funding.

These confessions, coupled with the weapons and cash recovered from MQM owned premises gives these claims justifiability – they can be the subject of a formal investigation and a legal indictment. Unless that can be done –by either the Pakistani or British law enforcement agencies – the report will continue serve as a cause of public condemnation and be the subject of a jingoistic media trial, for a party that has demonstrated time and again, the fierce loyalty of its vote bank. At the ballot box and on the streets.