Washington, DC: Pakistani establishment and Jamaat fronts are targeting pro-Indian politicians, especially Indian origin politicians in the US, from getting elected and coming to power, a report has claimed.
Pieter Friedrich, a self-proclaimed expert on South Asia and a propagandist for Pakistani establishment and Islamist organization, and his Organization for the Minorities of India (OFMI) campaigned against Indian-origin US politicians and publicly leveled unsubstantiated allegations against them, said The Disinfo Lab report, as reported by news agency IANS.
They targeted Democrat candidate Tulsi Gabbard and campaigned against her in different parts of the US intending to derail her election campaign.
However, it was not just the OFMI and Friedrich, but a group comprising several organizations including IAMC, SADHNA, and Sikh Information Centre (SIC).
The Disinfo Lab report said OFMI was the face of the campaign, and it ran social media ads against Gabbard in Hawaii, from where she hails, while Friedrich targeted Indian audiences. OFMI ran three campaigns in 2018, after which Pieter took the baton and continued attacking Gabbard in 2019 by associating her with the Indian establishment. Moreover, he ran two Facebook campaigns against her in March 2019.
They accused her of receiving money from ‘Hindu nationalists’ for running her political campaigns multiple times, again without any evidence. His sole evidence against her or the other US politicians of Indian origin he targeted was a reference to a pic of their meeting Indian politicians. On that logic, incumbent President Joe Biden has many visits to India, Barack Obama had met Narendra Modi on various occasions, and Trump too had visited India and they all have praised India before, The Disinfolab report said.
Besides, the likes of IAMC and Pieter Friedrich have also launched similar hate campaigns against Indian-origin politicians.
Most recently, American diplomat Atul Keshap, who was appointed head of the US-India Business Council, was publicly chastised by Friedrich in 2021.
Pieter led group protests against Keshap which was duly supported by IAMC.
Gabbard and Keshap’s cases are not only examples of how India’s interests abroad have been tampered with.
The network also targeted other Indian-origin US politicians in the US such as Preston Kulkarni, Amit Jani, Sonal Shah, Padma Kuppa, and Raja Krishnamoorthi — all Democrats.
Kulkarni was appointed as the new Chief of External Affairs of Americorp under the new Biden administration on February 8, 2021.
Friedrich launched a signature petition against Kulkarni’s appointment and alleged him of receiving funds from the RSS-affiliated entities for running his campaign. Additionally, IAMC also wrote a letter to Kulkarni based on his association with the RSS.
Similarly, Friedrich and Ubaid also targeted Shah and Jani, starting July 2019. They created political pressure on the Democratic officials. They went on doing tagging campaigns wherein they kept on tweeting against the appointment of Shah and Jani ahead of the US elections in 2020. As a result, both the politicians were left out of the newly formed Biden administration in January 2021 based on their links with RSS-BJP.
Kuppa and Krishnamoorthi were targeted between 2019 and 2020 for their ties with the RSS and BJP.