Sir Vidiya S. Naipaul passed away in August this year. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the US had declared him dead nearly a decade earlier. Lorenzo Benedict, special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had, while filing a chargesheet against a Pakistani named Abdul Rehman Hashim Syed alias Pasha, in a Chicago court in October 2009, referred to Sir Vidiya as “the late Lord V.S. Naipaul, a Nobel prize-winning author”. Apparently, the FBI can also err.
How was it that Sir Vidiya’s name figured in a terrorism-related chargesheet filed against a Pakistani in a US court? There is a tragic story behind it. The Nobel Laureate’s wife was the sister of major general Amir Faisal Alvi, who gave up his British citizenship to join the Pakistani Army and rose to command the elite Special Services Group. It was under his leadership that the Pakistani Army took on the Taliban for the first time and registered a significant victory at Angoor Adda in 2004. But Gen. Alvi had to leave the military in 2005 and a former army officer, major Haroon Ashique, assassinated him at the behest of Ilyas Kashmiri, allegedly to avenge the death of Abdul Rehman Kennedy, a top Al Qaeda operative who had been killed in the Angoor Adda operation. Major Haroon alias Abu Khattab had quit the army in 2001 when Pakistan joined forces with the US in its fight against the Afghan Taliban and his brother captain Khurram, who had similarly left the Special Services Group had been raising funds for Kashmiri’s 313 Brigade by kidnapping rich urban personalities.