Dr Fai: A vibrant voice for Kashmir cause
The people of Pakistan, as well as Kashmiris throughout the world, acknowledge Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai’s, Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), role on the diplomatic front for the cause of Kashmir.
Addressing a seminar, titled Diplomatic front of the movement and Dr Fai, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik said: “The resistance movement cannot achieve success without having a strong diplomatic front for lobbying of the cause. I don’t want to question or confront the US judicial system, but I would make an appeal to them to take a lenient view in Fai’s case, as he was a peacemaker. It will be their biggest support to the moderate constituency, which wants a peaceful resolution of Kashmir, without bloodbath and hatred.” On July 19, 2011, Dr Fai was arrested and released on bail. However, the twin objective of his arrest was to appease India and pressurise Pakistan to do America’s bidding.
After his arrest, the American media had carried reports that Dr Fai has been lobbying for over 20 years to influence the Congress members and the White House, spending millions of dollars in propaganda funnelled by the ISI. This point besides, Pakistan is committed to lend moral and diplomatic support to the cause of Kashmir. However, the question is: If Dr Fai has been lobbying for the last 20 years without getting his organisation registered, why the US had not invoked the law for such a long time? The answer, perhaps, is that there could not be a better time than US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to India to silence a vibrant voice in support of the freedom struggle of Kashmiris with a view to please India. Anyhow, by silencing an effective voice raised for the right of self-determination of Kashmiris, their campaign and struggle would not end, as they are determined to take the struggle to its logical conclusion.
The FBI agents had charged Dr Fai for being an unregistered agent of a foreign government. Other charges include that he donated money for political campaigns, wrote articles, organised congressional trips and met with White House and State Department officials, received about $4 million from Pakistan and made over 4,000 phone calls to his handlers from the ISI. He also organised scores of international conferences and seminars with the support of Pakistani diaspora not only in the US, but also Europe. However, even sane Indian diplomats and other officials supported Dr Fai’s efforts. On July 22, 2011, the Chairman of Kashmir Times Group of Publications, Ved Bhasin, while talking to the Indian Express stated that he had been a regular participant at the conferences organised by the KAC for the last 17 years. He said that he came in contact with Dr Fai in 1993, during his visit to Washington to attend a conference organised by the US Institute for Peace - an organisation funded by the Congress. “Rajmohan Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) also attended a few conferences organised by Fai,” Bhasin added.
Arundhati Roy, a human rights activist, too, has been vocal in support of the rights of the people of Kashmir and stands for their right of self-determination. There are other Indians who have helped Dr Fai in organising Kashmir-related functions. In fact, the Kashmiri diaspora is rich enough to make generous contributions to an organisation working for its cause. If Fai did not register his organisation as Kashmiris’ agent, then he should have been asked to get it registered a long time ago by the US authorities. Secondly, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that both Democrats and Republicans were the recipients of contributions from Dr Fai and the KAC has enough evidence that there was no malicious intent in giving or receiving contributions. A petty sum of a few thousand dollars to the Democrats and the Republicans is not a big deal anyway.
In fact, with Dr Fai’s arrest, America stands exposed for its indifference to the atrocities perpetrated on the people of Kashmir. It was necessary to remind the superpower and international community that had shown apathy to India’s atrocities in the IHK. During the last 63 years, hundreds of Kashmiri women have been raped and murdered. Since the international media is not allowed to go to the valley to know the extent of State terrorism and brutalities, yet stories about women molestation and youth killed in fake encounters are often revealed by several human rights organisations. Surely, India has made IHK a big concentration camp where the people are being subjected to atrocities; their only fault is that they are demanding their right of self-determination.
Also, it is important to mention that Secretary Clinton was representing the US industrial-military complex - the term sometimes used more broadly to include the entire network of contracts and flows of money and resources among individuals, as well as institutions of the defence contractors, the Pentagon, and the Congress and executive branch - when she visited Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu - home to over 1,000 American companies that have invested in IT, automotive and auto components, heavy engineering and telecommunication sector - in July after hectic parleys in New Delhi. Apart from providing the civil-nuclear technology, USA had promised to make it a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and a dominant regional power to contain China. Such steps have also emboldened India to continue with its intransigence and obscure the resolution of the Kashmir conflict.