A desperate and isolated Pakistan facing humiliation across the world for its state-sponsored terror policy attempted to create chaos as their proxies – radical Islamists and pro-Khalistani terrorists had thronged to the NRG stadium, the venue of the “Howdy, Modi!” to try and disrupt the community event to be addressed by PM Modi. An OpIndia investigation has revealed the protest organisers’ relationship with these radical Islamist and pro-Khalistani elements earlier.
An investigation conducted by India Today has revealed that there have been direct links between Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Khalistani and radical Islamist groups that had created chaos at the NRG stadium during the “Howdy, Modi!” event on September 24. Shockingly, the shabby plan of Pakistan to disrupt the “Howdy, Modi” rally was devised directly while keeping Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the loop.
According to the Sunday Guardian investigation, the protests also got support from Islamic organisations linked to terror group Hizbul-Mujahideen.
The visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to the US and the subsequent propaganda carried out by the Pakistani establishment against India since the abrogation of Article 370 was aided by massively funded “Pakistan friendly” media coverage in the US and global press on the issue of Kashmir. The India Today Open Source Investigation (OSINT) has now threw light on the methods and characters employed during this campaign by the Pakistani deep state.
Behind the Imran Khan’s propaganda in the United States, the investigation reveals that a shell NGO and an advertising blitzkrieg backed by PR firms in the US was responsible for anti-India protests that were carried out by pro-Pakistan groups with the support of Tehreek-i-Insaf and organisation linked to Hizbul Mujahideen.
The NGO – International Humanitarian Foundation Inc
An NGO named International Humanitarian Foundation Inc. (IHF) was behind the Pakistani campaign, which was the main organiser of the anti-India protest in Houston on September 22 at the NRG Stadium in Houston. On September 27, the New York Times ran a full-page ad with false and misleading headlines like “The Seizing of Kashmir is Blatant Racism,” and “8 Million Under Siege by a Million Soldiers Since August 5th.” The sponsor for the advertisement was listed as the International Humanitarian Foundation.
According to advertising rates of the New York Times, this advertisement alone would have cost at least $100,000 to the IHF.
Further, the website of International Humanitarian Foundation, which is managed by a resident of Houston but who is originally from Rawalpindi, became active in July-August this year. IHF which claims to be an international humanitarian non-profit has no visible body of humanitarian work in any other region of the world on any other issue. The NGO was brought into existence in July, after the announcement of the “Howdy, Modi!” event specifically with a purpose to disrupt the event.
Reportedly, the individual behind the website and the Facebook page also runs a Twitter handle of the “Overseas affairs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)” and is a prominent PTI voice of Houston. A major gathering to discuss on how to disrupt the Modi event was held on September 4 at a restaurant in Houston where PTI leaders, along with Khalistani faces, met to raise funds for the anti-Modi protests.
Among those who were present in the meeting was one Atif Khan who is the President of PTI, Houston Chapter. Later, his efforts to disrupt the “Howdy, Modi!” was praised by Imran Khan who met him personally on September 24.
Pakistan Federal Minister Ali Amin Gandapur was also present at a similar event attended by the same group of people which was held just one day before the “Howdy, Modi!” event, to make sure that everything was in order. We had reported how the terror state of Pakistan had put its dirty hand to ransack the event after Pakistan’s federal minister for Kashmir affairs, Ali Amin Gandapur was seen outside the venue of Houston event.
The Sunday Guardian investigation states that other prominent stakeholders of a local news channel owned by Pakistani nationals were a part of these strategy meetings. The event was also attended by Sajjad Burki, who is a senior leader of the PTI overseas wing.
Further, a major part of the funding for the protests was arranged by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), whose Houston unit president, Sultan Salahuddin, was himself present in the meeting and was given special attention because of the hold he has over the Muslim population of the area.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is a “domestic affiliate” of the terrorist organisation of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which is a banned organisation in India. The Jamaat’s terror wing is Hizbul Mujahideen. With PTI and ICNA behind the protest event to disrupt the event, elaborate planning was put in place. The mosques in the area were used by the protesters to broadcast messages asking people to enrol themselves in large numbers for the protests.
The Khalistani terror sympathisers of the notorious “2020 Punjab referendum”, which calls for a separate Khalistan, was also involved in the protest rally at the Houston. The organisers arranged free bus rides for protesters from many religious sites, including the Miskah Islamic Center, a Houston-based organisation that works towards conserving and promoting Islamic culture.
At least 20 prescribed points of shuttle service, comprising 120 buses were arranged by the organisers to carry the protesters and drop at the venue of the protest. More than 700 volunteers were engaged in this process.
The OpIndia investigation earlier had also revealed details regarding how radical Islamists and Khalistanis backed by IHF in Houston had organised anti-Modi protests ahead of ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event.
The PR Firm pushing Pakistan’s anti-India agenda:
A report published by the O’Dwyer PR, a US-based platform which publishes rankings of the PR companies in the United States, stated that IHF had signed a $50,000 contract with a US-based PR firm Fenton Communications.
Pakistan’s newspaper Dawn had reported that Imran Khan even held a meeting with David Fenton, the founder of Fenton communication in New York during the visit.
The O’Dwyer report further claims that the IHF is run by representatives of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). Atif Iqbal Khan who is also president of Houston chapter of PTI and very close to Imran Khan is linked to IHF, who had reportedly posted a message on his social media page thanking the designer for preparing the NYT ad-design on short notice.
Interestingly, the terror state of Pakistan backed IHF spent money worth $150,000 for advertising and PR over 12 days alone. In addition to these costs, the cost of logistics which includes “free park and ride” in Houston and New York could take the expenditure amount by the purported humanitarian organization to its double.
The details of the investigations reveal how deeply the anti-India lobby abroad is connected with Pakistan and terror organisations that find support and shelter in Pakistan. The anti-India lobby, be it pro-Khalistani elements or the groups claiming to be concerned about Kashmir invariably find support and backing from the Pakistani government. The extent of the expenses, PR campaign and depth only show how far Pakistan is willing to go to protray a negative image of India to the world.