Media Advisor to the Prime Minister Harish Khare has categorically denied the claim, made by columnist S. Gurumurthy, that he accepted the invitation and hospitality of Ghulam Nabi Fai, executive director, Kashmiri American Council.

Dr. Fai was arrested earlier this week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of receiving illegal contributions from sources, including Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, to influence policymakers on the U.S. government's position on Kashmir.

These funds have reportedly been used to hold conferences attended by prominent U.S., Indian and Pakistani personalities. Mr. Gurumurthy, in his newspaper column, included the name of Dr. Khare as being one of the eminent Indians who availed themselves of Dr. Fai's hospitality.

Dr. Khare, in a brief statement, said: “This has reference to Shri S. Gurumurthy's article “Are they just ‘useful idiots'?” in The New Indian Express, dated 22 July, 2011. Shri Gurumurthy has included my name in the list of “seculars and liberals” who have accepted Mr. Ghulam Nabi Fai's invitation and hospitality.

“Shri Gurumurthy's assertion is a total lie. I completely deny the allegation. I do not know Mr. Fai. I have never met him, much less accepted his hospitality for any seminar or convention. A legal notice is also being sent to the newspaper.”

Meanwhile, asked to comment on the developments centred on Dr. Fai in the U.S., External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said, “The facts speak for themselves. We have no comment.”

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