By K.N. Pandita
State government will set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to go into the ‘Faigate’. It is a belated action. Aren’t they opening the can of worms? Police says it has a heap of information on the activities of Fai in late 1970s and 80s. What for does the police collect and keep the well-researched information in the cold store? The SIT will tumble upon a number of questions which the government will have to answer. Don’t think the task of conducting an enquiry into Faigate is that simple. And what will be the consequences? We have scams, bribery cases, evidence for them all, even confessions and then at the end of the day what happens? Is anybody held accountable? They cannot, because it is “Indian democracy” where press and media are free to put the county on sell out in the name of freedom of expression.
The police knew everything about Fai prior to his escape. The police know who provided him logistical support after his passport was impounded. Our agencies know where he was when in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and finally headed towards the USA. They know who issued him a second but illegal passport. They know why he escaped and chose to go to Saudi Arabia? They know the role of Prince Turki in regard to Kashmir case during 1970s and 80s. They know Fai is a product of that process. Why did not they act for 32 years in the past when Fai was only half of his present age? Particularly after 1990, when insurgency broke out in the State and Fai found the situation ripe for opening up his ISI-planned anti-India mission in the US. UK and Brusels, where was the RAW and the IB and other intelligence agencies?
But we should not jump at the conclusion. Perhaps these agencies, having sheepishly surrendered to the diktat of politicos in this country, pass the day rather than perform their duty. There is much substance in what the jokers say that the government has no will to take on terrorism in the form in which it has been unleashed in our country. Government has politicised and communalised terrorism, and hence, it must adopt the safest policy of not opening the can of worms.
Soon after 1990, Fai opened vast but most secretive network in the State and in the country. It was easy for him to hook up the American chapters that would be usable in trumpeting his voice on Kashmir. But he worked assiduously to establish the network in India. Where were our intelligence brigades claiming to have busted the hawala nexus here, there and anywhere? Why did not the follow up action come to the notice of the public? After all hawala means hard cash, and is there one whose sense of duty will not be assailed by hard cash? Fai’s network has rooted deep in various segments of society. Press, of course, has been his priority. Was there non in the State information department or in the Union Ministry of Information to scrutinise and report to their superiors what pro-separatist press in Jammu and Srinagar and elsewhere in the country was publishing in banner lines and magnifying as well as glorifying the “achievements” of the militants, or raising hue and cry over alleged killings or rape by security forces. Was it enough to contradict the report mildly and let things continue or was it needed to nip the evil in the bud if at all anti-national propaganda was something evil? The journalists, the beneficiaries of Fai’s largesse are all veterans and seasoned professionals with enormous experience in the profession. They have, one and all, be it Navlakha or Nayar or Bhasin or Baweja or Manchanda or Arundhati Roy, much more information on the funding sources of Fai’s KAC than anybody else including the IB and the super agency has. Yet, in their urge for destroying the Indian state, for reasons best known to them, they turned Faustus and camaraderied with Mephistopheles. Did not our intelligence sleuths hear the broadcasts from the BBC made by one of the above mentioned journalist on his return home via London from Fai’s seminar in which he heaped all such charges on the Indian government as are the refrain of secessionists’ rhetoric? Did our law enforcing authorities ever ask the Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University how a teacher of English department went all the way to attend Fai’s seminars in the US and paint India in blackest colours, and then return home unscathed, unnoticed and free to strengthen the KAC’s anti-India network. Did the police ever keep a record of the foreign media persons, NGOs, social activist and others meeting with this professor regularly to update their mandate for the KAC. Has it any clue to sponsored visits to Srinagar of Victoria Schofield, the author of Conflict in Kashmir and one on the regular pay roll of Fai? This is not the lonely case. We say that there is a widespread network. Unless these conduits have moles in the political structure of the country, unless they have protectors and patrons they would not have carried their anti-national campaign to these heights. Obviously, if our intelligence apparatus was really up to the mark and as efficient as the one-man planner, namely Sayyid Ghulam Nabi Fai, things in Kashmir would not have come to this pass. It has to be admitted that Fai outsmarted all Indian agencies in conceptualising, planning, field-working, fund raising and managing the most formidable anti-India campaign through paper work. He has had the stupendous capability of misleading Kashmiris by telling them that he was working for aazadi’ he has the tremendous capability of handling the ISI by convincing them that he works for Pakistan and not aazadi, and he has had the unparalleled capability of bringing stalwarts among Indian scribes on his wavelength. Finally, he has had the incredible potential of rendering Indian intelligence agencies irrelevant. How many among them must have been his indirect beneficiaries will never be disclosed how hard we may try to find it out.
In final analysis, we will not say that SIT is a farce because it has yet to put its act together. But we would like to tell the powers that be that reviving a case after about 35 years and only when the cue is taken from the quick legal adjudication by an American court of law, may not yield any tangible result. It is a love-hate game that usually ends in limbo.