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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

My Own Fai Moment

How I once shared the dais with a man the ISI funds

My Own Fai Moment
Illustration by Sorit
My Own Fai Moment
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Before the buzz about the Fai case in the US becomes muted, let me claim my moment of notoriety, more so because the reports on the matter have found me too insignificant to notice. My rendezvous with Ghulam Nabi Fai, who the FBI alleges is an ISI-backed lobbyist corrupting important personages on Capitol Hill, happened in Brussels, without the dead letter boxes, the watchers, the minders and the tails, the stuff of intriguing spy thrillers. I shared the dais with him in full public view at the European Parliament in what was grandiosely called the ‘Global Discourse on Kashmir’, inaugurated by James Elles, chairman of the all-party group for Kashmir in the European Parliament, and jointly organised by this group, Fai’s Kashmir Centre, and Majid Tramboo, who the FBI says is also ISI-backed.

But before I hear the seething and hissing and the murmured “Ah, here’s another hated liberal offering up his soul to be manipulated by the Pakistani devils”, as the tone of many media disclosures on leading Indian intellectuals availing themselves of Fai’s platform seems to suggest, let me quickly add that I was also accompanied on this jamboree by a former major-general and a former brigadier of the Indian army, a former chief secretary of Jammu & Kashmir and a former member of the National Security Council from the NDA regime, all of whom unflinchingly defended the official Indian position on the Kashmir dispute. The former chief secretary’s presentation was frozen in time, denying that there was any alienation or any dispute in Kashmir but for what foreign infiltrators and the occupation by Pakistan of Indian territory had caused.

I don’t know why most of the intellectuals who attended Fai’s conferences in the US sound so defensive, saying they wouldn’t...

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