Such was the huge cache of firearms recovered in the raid in Karachi that Pakistani security officials had to call in three trucks to transport the huge cache of weapons. The weapons were reportedly found in the sealed headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Azizabad area.
Pakistani media reported that the weapons are NATO grade and are the biggest ever cache seized in Karachi’s history.
It should be noted here that the MQM is a political party which is at odds with the Islamabad-based establishment. The party’s leader, Altaf Hussain, is seen as pro-India and is known as a staunch opponent of Islamic radicalism. While the MQM, the second largest party in Sindh province, accuses the Pakistani government of selectively targeting the party, its Karachi wing distanced itself from Hussain earlier this year.
Though the MQM at Karachi severed its relations with Britain-based Hussain, both remained on the same page in condemning the raid and termed it a conspiracy against the party.
MQM Pakistan’s Deputy Convenor Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui hinted that the weapons could have been planted.
It should be noted here that the party is accused by the Pakistani government of cooperating with India’s external intelligence agency – R&AW.
Karachi Additional IG Mushtaq Maher said, “We are conducting forensic tests of these weapons to ascertain if they have earlier been used in Karachi.” But he added that the arms were to be used by the London-based MQM with R&AW’s help.
Reports from Pakistan say that Pakistani Rangers have raided Azizabad in the past but have claimed lower recoveries. A NATO weapons cache was previously recovered in March.