Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar on Thursday expressed surprise that senior journalists like Kuldeep Nayyar, Dileep Padgaonkar and former Chief Justice of Delhi high court Justice Rajinder Sachhar did not know the credentials of Kashmiri-American lobbyist Ghulam Nabi Fai. Fai was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Unites States.
Fai, who heads the Kashmiri American Council, was charged by the FBI for pushing the Kashmiri issue in Washington with Inter-Services Intelligence funding.
"How is it that prominent personalities from India did not know about the credentials of the lobbyist when the entire world knew about him? He has been sponsoring trips of Indian citizens, writers, journalists and members of the civil society to various countries and asking them to deliver key note addresses to an audience that mainly comprised of pro-Pakistan Kashmiri supporters," said another senior BJP leader, who has been keeping a tab on developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, leader of the breakaway faction of the All Party Hurriyat Conference, described the arrest as "a conspiracy by India to weaken the freedom struggle in Kashmir". He has called for a protest march in the valley after Friday prayers.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the All Party Hurriyat Conference, said that the APHC does not support Geelani on the issue. He, however, hoped that Fai would be released very soon as he advocated his views in a peaceful manner.
"He heads the Kashmiri American Council and the Kashmiris living abroad give donations to his outfit. He may also be getting his funds from Pakistan to put across the Kashmiri point of view before the world. Fai has been holding conferences and seminars on Kashmir and inviting top people including journalists to these functions. It is wrong to say his meetings were violent in nature and participants indulged in India bashing right through the meetings. I am saying this because I have attended several functions and seminars organised by him," he said.