ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Friday approached British government for access to the facts about a BBC report alleging Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of having links with Indian spy agency RAW.

The Foreign Office through a letter formally requested British authorities to give it access to details of the report claiming that recorded interviews of two MQM leaders were available with the London Police in which they confessed the party has been receiving funds and military training from India to destabilise Pakistan.

Confirming the development, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said that the government has written to the British authorities about the documentary by Owen Bennett-Jones, a journalist working with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He said Islamabad was in touch with London over the issue.

Informed officials said contents of BBC report are of vital significance to Pakistan since it involves Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and has serious implications for state security. They expressed the hope British authorities would cooperate with Islamabad.

The letter, drafted and vetted by the ministries of law and foreign affairs, was sent by Foreign Office after approval from Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan. The move came after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday directed the interior minister to probe the matter thoroughly.

The letter said revelations made in the report of a credible broadcasting organisation are cause of concern for every Pakistani. It sought help of British government in reaching to the bottom of the facts about the alleged anti-state relationship between RAW and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Official sources were of the view that government will take a decision on how it should proceed on the issue in the light of the response from the British government. A credible official source, who requested not to be named, said Pakistan could take up the matter with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

When asked how Islamabad would proceed against a British national, Altaf Hussain, if claims of the BBC report turn out to be true, another senior government official told The Nation, “It is a difficult process as Pakistan and British governments have no formal extradition treaty. We will have to sign an extradition treaty with Britain before formally seeking his extradition.”

The allegations against MQM could have serious repercussions for Muttahida’s local leadership and its self-exiled chief Altaf Hussain, who is residing in London for a couple of decades and has got British nationality. According to legal experts, if claims are proved, Altaf and his key party colleagues may face high treason charges under Article 6 of the constitution which entails death penalty.

But, former interior secretary Tasneem Noorani was of the view that Pakistan’s request to British authorities might not bear fruit because London was unlikely to get deeply involved in a matter that relates to Pakistan and India both.

The BBC report published Wednesday, citing an anonymous, ‘authoritative’ source in Pakistan, said members of MQM had received military training at camps in northern and north-eastern India over the past 10 years.

It said that two MQM leaders had admitted to British authorities on record in 2012 that political party received funds from India and its cadres had been given training in “explosives, weapons and sabotage” by Indian the spy agency. The assertions however have been denied by both the MQM and New Delhi.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Special Assistant to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatemi, met with the premier at PM House on Thursday. Nisar shared initial details of the report and said concerned departments of the interior ministry have been directed to investigate the matter. The premier asked the minister to expedite work on this and sought an early report from him.

Later, after have a meeting with British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton also on this issue, the interior minister addressing a press conference at Punjab House said, “In the light of the advice of British High Commission, I am going to write a letter to the British government to get access to facts as mentioned in the BBC report.”

Repeatedly using the word ‘facts’ instead of allegations, the minister said that facts, which had surfaced as a result of BBC documentary, were extremely sensitive in nature and were a matter of great concern for Pakistan. “Pakistan is focused and committed and would go to the last to get access to information mentioned in this report,” he said and added that it was the responsibility of the British government to cooperate with Pakistan in this regard.

The minister demanded that the British government should hold a transparent investigation on the issue and keep updating Pakistan on it as both Islamabad and London are already cooperating on difference issues including crimes and narcotics control as well as immigrations issues.