ISLAMABAD - The federal government yesterday constituted the joint investigation team (JIT) to probe money-laundering charges against Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain.

Director FIA Islamabad Mazharul Haq Kakakhel would head the team that comprises representatives of intelligence agencies including Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB), besides a representative of Sindh Rangers. The team would complete its work within 30 days.

The official sources informed that JIT had been formed in the light of some ‘startling disclosures’ made by Sarfraz Merchant, a former donor of MQM and one of the accused in the money-laundering case against MQM being probed in UK. Merchant has recently recorded his statement to FIA, besides sharing some evidence with the agency following his public allegations, made on a TV channel, that MQM had been receiving funding from Indian intelligence RAW.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the light of Merchant’s allegations had ordered an inquiry into the matter to probe charges of funding to MQM by Indian spy agency RAW.

The FIA had invited Merchant asking him to visit Pakistan to record his statement and share the evidence he talked about.

The interior ministry had also sent a letter to all security and intelligence agencies asking them to share with the inquiry team evidence or information relating to the allegations against MQM.