Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Thursday clarified that when he participated in a seminar in 2003 on Kashmir, organised by an organisation run by U.S.-based Kashmir activist Ghulam Nabi Fai, he was unaware that Dr. Fai was an “undercover agent of a foreign power.”
Dr. Fai has been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for receiving millions of dollars in funds from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to influence politicians and opinion makers on Kashmir.
In a statement, Dr. Swamy said he delivered an address on Kashmir in the seminar held in the U.S. Senate Building in Washington in the summer of 2003. At that time, he was teaching economics at the Harvard University. He had checked with the Indian Embassy about the organisers and was told that ‘it was an anti-Indian gathering but not that it was ISI-inspired.”
Dr. Swamy said his friends also did not know that Dr. Fai was working for the ISI but had assumed that a meeting at the Senate Building would not have been permitted without security clearance. He had, however, requested the Embassy to send an official with him to take notes and for consultations. His speech had since been published in the print media in India and that it made the point Kashmir was part of India. “It is impossible to know unless briefed who is an undercover agent of a foreign power.”
The FBI, in a criminal complaint against the Kashmir American Council, of which Dr. Fai is the director, had alleged that the forum had violated U.S. laws that prohibited work for foreign governments without authorisation, by receiving contributions from the ISI. Such funds were also used to organise conferences attended by prominent figures.