ISLAMABAD  -   Counter Terrorism Wing of Federal Investigation Agency has summoned at least 24 former and sitting lawmakers of Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan in a terror-financing and money-laundering case registered against MQM founder Altaf Hussain last year.

The CTW has issued notices to some of the top stalwarts of the party for giving donations to Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation (KKF), charity wing of MQM, during 2013 to 2015. The notices said the donations were later used in different illegal activities.

Some politicians have been issued notices who were affiliated with MQM in the past and now represent Pak Sar Zameen Party (PSP).

In October 2017, FIA Karachi had registered a case against London-based MQM founder Altaf Hussain and other senior members of the party on charges of terror financing and money laundering and later the case was transferred to the agency’s CTW in Islamabad on the directions of Interior Ministry.

The FIA CTW has summoned the former and sitting lawmakers on different dates to appear before its investigation team. Some have been summoned on November 15 (today) and others on November 20.

“During the investigation, it transpired that you paid Rs… from 2013 to 2015 to the Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation which was subsequently used for illegal activities. Prima Facie such huge donations create reasonable doubt amounting to facilitation/abetment of illegal acts committed by primary accused,” says a copy of a notification seen by The Nation.

“In the given circumstances, you are required to attend this office in person on … at … hours at Police Station CTW/FIA HQs, Sector G-9/4 Islamabad, to record your defence plea well substantiated by documents, if necessary. In case of non-compliance of this notice it will be presumed that you have nothing to tender in your defence and ex-parte proceedings will be initiated,” the notification sent to each accused further reads.

Those who been summoned on November 15 (today) include former MQM Senator Nasreen Jalil who is accused of donating Rs100,000 to KKF; former MQM Senator Maulana Tanveer-ul-Haq Thanvi for giving Rs340,800; former member of National Assembly (MNA) Syed Asif Husnain for donating Rs1,180,400; former member of Sindh Assembly Syed Faisal Ali Subzwari for Rs350,000 and Federal Law Minister Senator Faroogh Naseem for donating Rs268,750. Senator Naseem appeared before the investigation team on last Tuesday.

Those politicians who have been asked to appear on November 20 are former MNA Saman Sultana Jafri who is accused of donating Rs100,000; former MNA Kishwer Zehra for giving Rs80,000; former MNA SA Iqbal Qadri for donating Rs73,500; former MNA Salman Khan Baloch for giving Rs7,000 and former Sindh MPA Naila Munir for donating Rs50,000 to the KKF. According to FIA sources, the agency had also issued similar notices to former and present lawmakers of MQM-P and they had been asked to appear before investigators on November 12, 13 and 14, separately. Those who were summoned on November 12 included former MQM MPA and now PSP leader Adil Siddiqui, former MNA Sufyan Yousf and former MPAs Adnan Ahmed, Dilawar and Iftikhar Alam.

Similarly, Federal Minister for Information Technology and chief of MQMP Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, former MNA Abdul Waseem, and former MPAs Azeem Farooqui, Sheeraz Waheed and Zubair Ahmed Khan were asked to appear on November 13. FIA had also sent notices to sitting MQMP MNA Iqbal Ali Khan, former MNAs Muzammail Qureshi and Ali Rashid and former MPA Nishat Zia Qadri for their appearance on November 14.

Adil Siddiqui is accused of donating over Rs7.2 million; Sufyan Yousaf of over Rs2.9 million; Adnan Ahmed of Rs3,670,000; Dilawar of Rs2,930,000 and Iftikhar Alam of donating Rs2,295,000 to the KKF. Similarly, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui is accused of donating Rs1,530,000; Abdul Waseem Rs1, 607,000; Azeem Farooqui Rs1,558,300; Sheraz Waheed Rs1,532,000; Zubair Ahmed Khan Rs1,510,000, Iqbal Ali Khan Rs1,210,500; Muzammil Qureshi Rs1,407,000; Ali Rashid Rs1,200,000 and Nishat Zia Qadri for donating Rs1,372,500 to the KKF. 

The CTW on last Sunday through an advertisement in the newspapers had published names of 726 persons, saying that an amount of Rs1 billion had been collected for KKF through these names but no one is accepting responsibility of these names. “FIA is conducting an investigation …against Khadimat-e-Khalaq Foundation regarding money laundering,” the ad said.

FIA had registered the case against Altaf Hussain and others on the complaint of businessman Sarfraz Anwar Merchant. The complaint said that the funds received by KKF, a non-government organisation, were transferred to the accounts of different MQM members and business organisations and were used to ‘carry out terrorist activities in Pakistan, purchase weapons of destruction, and for money laundering to United Kingdom (UK) for Hussain’.