ISI's Kashmiri Militancy Links Were Known To Indian Agencies For Long

ISI's Kashmiri Militancy Links Were Known To Indian Agencies For Long

21 July 2011
Times of India
Indrani Bagchi

New Delhi: Indian security agencies have known of the now infamous Brigadier Javeed Aziz of Pakistan's ISI for years. Senior government sources said they had a lowdown of how Aziz, nicknamed 'Rathore' and 'Abdullah', had been funding Kashmir advocacy fronts for the ISI in different parts of the world. For Indian officials the most important name on the ISI cast of characters, named in the FBI criminal complaint, is Major General Mumtaz Ahmad Bajwa. The report describes a visit to the US by Bajwa in July, 2009. Bajwa, says the complaint, 'in late 2008, had been placed in command of the ISI's Security Directorate, which oversees Kashmiri militant groups.' This is the most open acknowledgement by the US agencies, say government sources, that the ISI actually runs Kashmir militancy. This, along with the New York case against the ISI, has helped to publicly nail the infamous intelligence agency. Bajwa was part of Ghulam Nabi Fai's Tenth International Kashmir Peace Conference in Washington DC on July 23-24, 2009. Fai, says the complaint, gave him a pre-approved briefing of Kashmir American Council's (KAC) activities in the US. Fai also invited Indian participants to his conferences under instructions from the ISI, said the FBI affidavit. They also submitted regular reports to the government about Fai's KAC and the funds and directions it got from the ISI. 'We knew, and the US knew too,' said sources. Certainly, in Washington DC, said former diplomat G Parthasarathy, the Pakistan embassy 'outsourced' its Kashmir campaign to Fai. Fai was arrested on Tuesday by the FBI for running a lobbying organization funded by a foreign government, but which was not registered as such. Indian officials, who tracked Fai's activities, said the Pakistan embassy in Washington 'outsourced' all Kashmir propaganda to Fai's Council. Indians believe the timing of the complaint is significant. A senior official observed, 'The US has hit Pakistan at a soft spot, but a very important spot. By targeting Pakistan's pet international project of lobbying on Kashmir, they are challenging the legitimacy of Pakistan's biggest diplomatic project.' They believe the US went after ISI now as retaliation for Pakistan throwing out US agents and other problems in the intelligence relationship. Teresita Schaeffer, former US diplomat, says Fai's efforts did not meet with much success. 'For all its efforts, the council's lobbying has had minimal success in persuading the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations to change their basically hands-off diplomacy on the Kashmir dispute,' she wrote. The FBI complaint against Fai is crammed with information about the funding of Kashmir lobbying by the KAC. Interestingly, the document is quite open about taking names of ISI officials while covering up the names of the straw donors through whom payments to Fai were channelized. The ISI also funded two other organizations in London and Brussels, which do the same thing that Fai's Council did. The ISI, said sources, transferred their funding quite recently to Nazir Shawl's Kashmir Centre in London. In Brussels, their point man is Abdul Majeed Trumboo. In 2007, after the EU parliament, in a Kashmir report by Emma Nicholson criticized the Pakistani position on Kashmir, Trumboo organized a major conference to oppose it, which was attended by none other than then Pakistan president Gen Pervez Musharraf.


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