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Pak establishment controlling 'family business' of selling Kashmir narrative, uses issue as survival strategy: Report

ANI | Updated: Aug 06, 2021 22:08 IST


New Delhi [India], August 6 (ANI): Pakistan seeks to fulfil a range of its strategic objectives "in the garb of Kashmir alone" and it is the survival strategy of the country's establishment, particularly for the Army to keep selling the Kashmir opium to its domestic population to remain relevant and grab resources, says a report by Disinfo Lab.
It says that the only thing missing in this Islamabad-orchestrated theatre is Kashmiris themselves and that the Kashmir conflict has also created an eco-system from which a set of families derive their livelihood and relevance.
The report says it would be criminally naive for Kashmiris to assume that Pakistan and the net cast by its establishment would have any interest in resolving Kashmir issue.
In the report 'Kashmir Inc: a conflict Industry; beneficiaries across generations and continents' Disinfo Lab states that for the Pak establishment, Kashmir conflict has become "a goose that lays golden eggs".
It says that the family business of selling the Kashmir narrative is being passed to the next generation with the help of Pakistan establishment, and vested interests.
The way the conflict is designed has generated a growing number of stakeholders from a set of families to the "Gora politicians" to the Pakistani establishment in a manner, that it would be useful for them to keep the conflict in perpetual flux, says the report released earlier this month.
The Kashmir narrative is a globally sponsored narrative, where every so-called human-rights concern on Kashmir is at the end connected with a nexus, put in place by the Pakistan establishment.
According to the dossier, Kashmir has become everyone's concern except of Kashmiris. "There are virtually no Kashmiris with any worthwhile connection with Kashmir involved in the discussion of Kashmir. If there were, they have been side-lined."
Since about 2015-16, the 'family business' is being passed to the next generation with the help of the Pakistan establishment, it says.
A number of 'activism' organizations start popping around the time: from The Polis Project to Equality Labs and by 2019 Kashmir-Khalistan Referendum Front - all in the US, all led by people essentially groomed in US - a pattern found for Kashmiri activists as well, says the report.
These Pak-backed Kashmiri 'activists' started getting traction on social media, and space in mainstream news media, and between 2016-19 became the foremost experts and "brand ambassadors of the Kashmir cause".
"The clearest example, however, remains Muzzammil Ayyub Thakur. As noted above, plethora of organizations set up in the USA and UK in the name of Kashmir from 2015-16. In the UK alone, six new organizations were registered between 2016-2019 in the name of Kashmir by one individual - Muzzammil Ayyub Thakur."
Ayyub Thakur is a UK citizen currently living in London. He was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to London when his father Ayyub Thakur shifted base to the UK on a Fellowship.
Beginning 2016, Ayyub Thakur started setting up several companies in the UK and elsewhere in the name of Kashmir.
"While on the face of it Ayyub Thakur was 'lobbying' for Kashmir cause, he allegedly also provided significant support to terror activities against India, channelling ISI funds to Kashmir through various of his fronts and affiliates. Thakur was alleged to funnel funds to militant organizations in J&K via his charity organization 'Mercy Universal'," the dossier says.

In June 2002, Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested a businessman Imtiaz Ahmed Bazaz on the charges of funnelling funds sent by Ayyub Thakur from the UK to Kashmiri separatists including Asiya Andrabi and her organization Dukhtaran-e-Millat. During his interrogation, Bazaz confessed to contacting Ayyub Thakur for channelling funds sent by Pakistan's ISI.
In the "family business" run by the Pakistani establishment, another prominent name is Ghulam Nabi Fai.
Fai is the "fulcrum of ISI's Kashmir operations". Every single thread on the Kashmir issue, which originates from Pakistan, eventually reaches him, says the report.
"It would be no exaggeration to say that Fai at present is more of a liability in terms of Information Warfare regarding Kashmir because of his expose and his arrest. However, his utility apparently outweighs his liability which is why the top Pakistani leadership including PM Imran Khan to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Quershi continue to engage him, despite the obvious embarrassment that it carries with it."
According to the report, Fai's friendship with Muhammad Ayyub Thakur goes back to their Kashmir days. "Apart from sharing Jamaat connection, both Fai and Ayyub Thakur were trained by former All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Both Fai and Thakur established respective networks on Kashmir in the USA and UK, says the report.
It says that at least from ISI's point of view, their roles differed slightly - while Fai engaged himself in the US in building lobby networks, ISI allegedly used Thakur also for channelling funds to Kashmir.
"In the garb of Kashmir alone, Pakistan is able to fulfil several of its strategic objectives," the report says.
Pakistan has engaged US lobby firms -- who in turn are medium to reach out to US politicians --- who have played a critical part in ensuring the supply of 'aid' and other largesse from the US, despite the fact that Pakistan has consistently worked at the cross purpose of US interest in the region, according to the report.
In the name of Kashmir, it has also targeted every Indian-origin US politician who may not be inclined to serve their agenda, and/or seen closer to India.
"While at the same time, it has kept all the focus away from its own dismal track records of human rights and minorities issues. Some of the most gruesome atrocities inflicted upon Pak minorities doesn't even raise a whimper of protest from all the human rights cavaliers put together."
Kashmir has also become a money-making machine - as seen from numerous fundraising campaigns being run on fund-raising platforms.
"Above all, it is a survival strategy of the Pakistani establishment, particularly for the Army to keep selling the Kashmir opium to its domestic population to remain relevant and grab resources. It also doesn't harm that whenever the population demands accountability on domestic/development issue, the Kashmir slogan comes handy for distraction."
The report states that the Kashmir conflict has also created an eco-system from which a set of families derive their livelihood and relevance.
"The only things that are missing in this Pakistani orchestrated theater is Kashmiris themselves. Their role has been reduced to mere objects, in whose name the mercenaries would live a life full of 'activism fun'."
"Hence, it would be criminally naive for not only Indians but particularly for Kashmiris to assume that Pakistan and the net cast by its establishment would have any interest in resolving Kashmir issue. For the Pak establishment, Kashmir conflict has become a Goose that lays golden eggs, and unlike the stupid old lady, it has no intention of killing the goose," the report notes. (ANI)

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