THE busting of a Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) ring in the United States fronted by one Ghulam Nabi Fai, a Kashmiri of Indian extraction and now an American citizen, has raised many issues that are now demanding attention. Fai was running an outfit in Washington called Kashmir American Council(KAC). It was being secretly financed by the ISI, of which nobody seems to have been aware. It was presumed to be an American organisation, run by an American, and so did not have to be registered. It regularly held international conferences and seminars on the Kashmir issue and among other invitees, it invited distinguished Indians, including well-known politicians and journalists they were, of course, well-paid and all their expenses were taken care of.
They now claim that they were not aware of either Fai’s or the Council’s links with the ISI. This is now being challenged. The point is that, as The Asian Age (July 22) has now made plain, the presence of distinguished Indians raised the stock of the Council (KAC) and gave it respectability, on which Fai cleverly cashed in. As the paper put it, it made it easier for KAC to seem like an even-handed organisation “interested solely in the merits of the case and helped it to launder the ISI stain” and that, in turn, made it easier for KAC “to establish contacts with US Senators and Congressmen …. to put their weight behind America’s Kashmir policy”.
In effect what this suggests is that Indians of high reputation were helping Fai and his KAC, unknowingly, as they claim, to corner Senators, Congressmen and other public citizens in his campaign against India on the Kashmir issue! As Asian Age sees it, Fai is a “sleeper ISI mole”; the FBI has now found that out. But can one take it for granted that well-known Indians were unaware of Fai’s background? S. Gurumurthy is very skeptical in this regard. Writing in The Indian Express (July 26) Gurumurthy has made the point that “a look at the facts publicly known about Fai, as far back as 2001, which the well-informed liberals cannot feign not to know, clearly rules out their claim to innocence”.
And what are the facts? The Institute of Conflict Management, with excellent faculty, led by the legend are KPS Gill, had clearly stated in a paper dated June 1, 2001 that “the HM (Hizbul Mujahideen) is closely linked to the Jamaat-e-Islami and is allegedly backed by Ghulam Nabi Fai’s Kashmiri American Council”. Praveen Swami, a well known expert on terror and also a correspondent of The Hindu had written in February 2003, thus: “The Hizb also regularly received funds gathered in the United States and United Kingdom by activists like Ayub Thakur and Ghulam Nabi Fai”. In his comments on our liberal intellectuals Gurumurthy is sharp as a nail. According to him “The leading lights of liberal India cannot feign that they did not know about Fai’s antecedents; Their claim to innocence is a post-facto alibi”.
Adds Gurumurthy “Fai invited them (Indian liberals) not as neutrals to add credibility to his show, but as accomplices to push his anti-India propaganda. Fai has finally exposed the real face of the Indian liberals to Indians”. Pakistan is increasingly becoming a sickening state. According to the Sikh community in the eastern city of Lahore, it has been barred from organising a religious celebration at a disputed gurudwara. This year they have been barred. Shouldn’t there be some protest? Pakistan can get away with anything. The Indian media – with the FPJ’s exception – has not reported it. It is interesting to go back to history as Jan Sangh Today (March 2011) did in recounting the conversation between the Cabinet Mission that came to India in 1944 and part of the discussion it had with Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It went like this:
Cabinet Mission: Do you realise that the Pakistan you are demanding will leave substantial Hindus under Muslim domination?
Jinnah: That will be so, but I will leave many more Muslims under Hindu domination in Hindustan.
Cabinet. M: How does it then resolve Hindu-Muslim discord? It will only perpetuate the hostilities.
Jinnah: It will free at least two thirds Muslims from Hindu domination.
Cabinet. M: And you will put more than that number of Hindus under Muslim domination. That is so solution.
Jinnah: That is the only solution if you do not want civil war.
Cabinet. M: But should you adopt such a callous attitude towards the minorities in the two states, they will be in worse condition than the Muslims in united India…
Jinnah: Their best protection will be the establishment of two strong states neither of which will dare to misbehave towards each other’s minorities.
Cabinet. M: You mean to say that these minorities will be hostages?
Jinnah: Exactly. If one state mistreats its minorities the other state will retaliate against its minorities. It will be tit for tat.
Has India mistreated the Muslims? How many Muslims have migrated to Pakistan in recent times? But a recent report noted that some 15,000 Hindus have come to India and have been seeking India citizenship. The media ignores the story. In Gujarat, the much-maligned Narendra Modi is even offering Muslims a university. For acknowledging the good work that is being done in Gujarat, Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi, Vice Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband is sacked. One wonders what Jinnah would be saying were he to be born again, not in India, but in his dream state, Pakistan. For all their faults, Indians do not believe in tit for tat. And they are paying dearly for their decency in public life. Islamists can bomb Mumbai half a dozen times in as many years, but not a single Muslim shop was attacked all down Mohammad Ali Road. Are you listening, General Kayani?