The odd man out

By K.N. Pandita

Ansari, the ex-bureaucrat and the odd man in the Interlocutors’ Triumvirate has been creating ripples to the discomfiture of the other two. Incensed Radha has now supplicated before her beneficiary for redemption of her integrity.

The duo in the team need not be unnecessarily reactive to public resentment. The fault lies in people not able to comprehend the complex and subtle ways in which the Indian State functions. There is much more that the Indian State will not say than what it says. Of course, Indian State is not an exception.  

Double agent syndrome is the old formula of espionage. All countries employ the device in accordance with their planning, capacity, capability or the need. Kashmir dispute threw up vast vista, almost new and innovative, in the area of international espionage. Pakistan’s ISI is one credited with tremendous resilience and maneuverability to harness sources of input.

The style in which ISI has been accomplishing its assignment is noteworthy. A simple example is that years back Indians fielded an organization in London to counter Fai’s Kashmir American Council in Washington and its branches in London and Brussels. Their investment could be in millions but the net return is zero.  On the other hand, go through the activity record of Barrister Tramboo’s Kashmir American Council branch in Brussels and you will have some shocks. Read what Emma Nicholson said on the episode of Fai’s arrest and disclosure made by FBI.  She has given a graphic picture of how Tramboo manipulated to force on her a changed version of the European Parliament’s resolution on Kashmir situation. She made no bones when stating that money was floated by ISI through its Brussels mole to influence the opinion of EP members.

Radha Kumar accompanied Emma Nicholson on her visit to Kashmir. Radha Kumar was invited by Barrister Tramboo to participate in the Kashmir discourse in Brussels. Barrister Tramboo knew Radha Kumar’s worth to his campaign. He was more than happy that Radha had accompanied Nicholson.  At the end of the day, Emma Nicholson’s report was watered down. Radha’s interaction with Emma is to be understood in the light of her interaction with Kashmir University students in Srinagar. According to local press she had asked them give her a blue print for aazadi.

Radha Kumar has been seen by people at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Which NGO gives her accreditation and platform to speak if she has spoken; who bears her expenses of travel, board and lodging; and with whom has she been interacting there? This all is shrouded in mystery. The question is can Kashmiris repose trust in her interlocution when her antecedents are murky?  Obviously, she has been banking on Tramboo’s organization and intercession to prevail on Kashmiri separatists to repose a fraction of their trust in her.

Evidently it could be on the behest of the super intelligence wing of the MEA that recommended to the Home Minister for her inclusion in the Triumvirate. That she has produced a work on Kashmir issue does not at all entitle her to be considered an expert on Kashmir. We have far more prolific authors on contemporary history of Kashmir. Whose agenda is she carrying forward is better known to her and those who have assigned the job to her in Kashmir.

Padgaonkar has been given a clean chit by the Home Minister not on the plea that Padgaonkar had no knowledge of the sponsors of the seminar who provided him all logistical support but on the ground that it was a usual visit of a media person. Imagine the flimsy arguments. The celebrated editor of the country’s leading daily neither knows the antecedents of his host in Washington nor the purpose of the seminar which he attended.

Fai has been working for his mission with singular dedication and zeal. He has enlisted all such Indians, intellectuals, writers, journalists, media-persons, and politicians as have been ventilating views on Kashmir issue that are not in consonance with national stand. Fai has been cultivating this lobby with extraordinary skill and dexterity. He has been reaching not only the Congressmen and Senators in the US, but even the very corridors of power as well.

Leading a delegation of KAC activists, he met with the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in Washington and brought her a gift of an expensive fine Kashmiri Pashmina shawl. Hillary accepted it with thanks saying that one such shawl was gifted to her by the President of India also, and now she would give the one give by Fai to her daughter Chelsea. Fai obliged Congressman Dan Burton, a rabid India-basher, and a close friend of Fai by agreeing to make him a gift of a Kashmir Silken carpet with the image of Congress building woven in the texture. It was estimated to have cost around thirty thousand dollars. Lesser mortals would, of course, settle for a gift of far less value from Fai. It could be nothing more than lip service.

Fai once told this writer in person that he had once marched into the office of the former UN Secretary General, Boutros Ghali and offered him to floor furnish the entire 9 story-building of NY United Nations with Kashmir carpets.

Imagine the Indian Lilliputians like Padgaonkar and Radha convincing the MEA through its intelligence gathering paraphernalia that they can establish access to the ISI moles and deliver goods in Kashmir.

Kashmir is the open field of amusing and interesting one to one wrestling match between two wrestlers of the sub-continent. The spectators on the sidelines, intermittently served with a can of Pepsi or Coca-Cola, cheer them up with yells and shrieks depending on who has an occasional firm grip of his adversary’s limbs.

Why should the one or the two of the Triumvirate resign on the bidding of the third member? Since Home Minister Chidambaram wants a unique solution of the unique Kashmir question, hence he has selected the team of unique persons who will make a unique report. And uniquely the union government will sleep over it as it did on all previous reports of the ilk. Radha will go back to JNU to enjoy the best of both the worlds and Padgaonkar will return to his pen work further endearing himself to his old host Fai. Yes, Ansari will be he odd man out for his sin of thinking right and speaking right.

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