Thoughts on economics and liberty

Harsh Mander, why are you involved with the anti-India Justice Foundation?

A few days ago someone sent me a link to this article (NAC's Harsh Mander's link with Pakistan's ISI [Ghulam Nabi Fai "interface"]), basically challenging my assertion that Harsh is a man of impeccable integrity.

You might recall (since I've discussed this earlier) that Harsh Mander and I taught at the National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie as faculty members in 1994 (PDF). Ever since then, I've held him in high esteem – although I haven't met him since then (and although I don't think his solutions for India are anywhere similar to mine). 

However, this article that I was sent makes VERY SERIOUS allegations about Harsh's involvement in some anti-India activity.

I've now had a brief look into the matter (from what I could find online) and I've also searched the web for any denial that Harsh might have made about this matter. 

The facts of the case so far

a) The Justice Foundation is a UK based foundation that operates a propaganda machinery on behalf of Pakistan's claims on Kashmir.

b) The history of the Kashmir "dispute" presented on its website (here) is significantly biased towards Pakistan's version of events. For instance, it says:

  • "It is rumoured that the Maharaja acceded to India in exchange for military assistance and the promise of a popular referendum."
  • "India refuses to relinquish any authority over Kashmir".

Through such language it sows doubt about the unquestionable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India. 

c) Its propaganda (here) is STRONGLY directed against India. And it does not refer to the thousands of killings by innocent Indians by (often Pakistan funded) terrorists, and about the thousands of Indians displaced from Kashmir.

d) Harsh Mander is STILL (till today) LISTED as a member of its Working Group (here). This would normally imply that he is working towards the Pakistani solution that this Foundation advocates.

e) Harsh is the only Indian listed on the Working Group.

f) Harsh has NOT denied, so far, his involvement with this organisation.

g) I'm leaving out the fact that one of the Directors of this organisation (Ghulam Nabi Fai) seems to have received HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS from ISI (and hence from the Pakistan government – possibly from out of the foreign aid that the USA pays Pakistan?) for propaganda work, and has even been involved in potentially criminal acts at least in the USA. Fai is currently awaiting trial

My PRELIMINARY analysis

Regardless of whether the allegations of Pakistan-funding of Justice Foundation are true or false, the fact is that the Justice Foundation is CLEARLY anti-India, and any involvement with this organisation by any Indian would need explanation.

The Kashmir issue can't be resolved without going back to first principles (I have proposed a solution here.) Regardless of the views one may hold, though, it is highly questionable (depending on the level of Harsh's involvement) for Harsh to be affiliated with this UK group.
 
Yes, it is possible that Harsh did not know that this organisation was a propaganda machine for Pakistan – but he could have readily formed suspicions about this by reading its website. It is possible, though, that Harsh did not know that one of its directors had a direct relationship with ISI. And so I won't pass any judgement on that, but I do think India is entitled to know the following:
 

a) Why (and when) did Harsh get involved with Justice Foundation?

b) Did he conduct due diligence before associating himself with this organisation?

c) How many meetings of the Working Group did he attend?

d) What did he say in the meetings?

e) Where are the minutes of the meetings he attended? Can he please publish them for all to see.

f) Why is he still affiliated with this organisation?

Could I please request Harsh to clarify these matters? Indeed, I trust that the intelligence agencies of India are already investigating this matter given the potential security concerns it raises (Harsh has access to the highest levels of government in India). 

Let me add a proviso. I have no access to information except what is available online, and I'm severely time-constrained (apart from being particularly sick today). So I might have not found all the facts nor any denials from Harsh, if any, through my time-limited research. I therefore welcome any corrections to my blog post. (e.g. nothing will please me more than to read a comprehensive denial by Harsh.) 

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Note: To ensure that an exact replica of the page that is visible today at the Justice Foundation in relation to Harsh Mander's involvement is maintained in the future, I've made a copy of it and posted it on this blog, here. Also, a JPG is provided below – of a portion of the relevant webpage:

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