The Lobbyist


By Sameer Bhat

Poor Dr Fai. Imprisoned for being ISI. That all powerful imperium in imperio [state within a state]. Uncle Bush, busy signing his own baseball cards these days, gave the Pakistanis well over $10 billion since 9/11. Pakistanis apportioned the largesse amongst themselves and some of it naturally went to ISI — being the largest of the three intel service agencies of that country. The spy agency in turn threw some bits to lobbyists in the States, FBI claims. The Americans are basically saying now: oh we don’t give you sackfulls of sugar so that you made candies and market them here. You have to be a registered candy man.

And since we are a little grumpy at the moment, we will squeeze you a bit.

In reality the Americans don’t miss out on these things. They knew all along that Dr Fai was a top lobbyist for the Kashmir resistance movement. They knew that he gave small funds to congressmen. Everyone does that in DC. It is legit. There is a whole philosophical and legal framework to it. Each penny is accounted for. Now of course if the relationship between US sleuths and their Pakistani counterparts hits rock bottom, expect some legal brain in FBI to dust off the rule book of political funding by foreign governments. Notwithstanding the fact that Bush used to exchange texts with Fai.

Since the big media has gotten involved and NYT is following up on the news [which by the bye was swift to call the recent Norwegian bombing a Jihadi plot, before getting an egg on its face] US politicians of all hues are likely to shun Dr Fai like plague. Those ‘Dear Dr Fai’ letters from Bill [Clinton], which were re-printed faithfully by local dailies in Kashmir in the 90’s, text messages with Dubya, the dinner laughter with Dan Burton will all be forgotten. How could they know Fai was ISI? Nobody had a clue till yesterday. Okay we might be exaggerating here, perhaps Arnoub and Praveen [Indian clones of O’Reilly and Lawrence Auster respectively] had a hunch but no one in the US knew. That is for sure.

Fai is a US citizen and the law of the land is expected to deal with him without fear or favor if he really broke any rules. That he was at the helm of intense diplomatic efforts — at age 62 to promote the plebiscite of Kashmir — is as well known as Beatles. Whether he actually mixed up with the modern day version of Nazi Germany’s Schutzstaffel — read ISI — shall be decided by a United States District Court in Virginia. As for Wadwan, a tiny village in Kashmir’s Budgam, where Fai was born, these are very wistful times.

(Sameer Bhat is a middle-east based Kashmiri blogger and a free-lance journalist. He has written political blogs and essays on Kashmir for several leading publications. His poems have appeared in CounterPunch USA and Poet’s Basement)

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