After 'Justice for Kashmir' banner flew over the British skies during the India-Sri Lanka World Cup 2019 match on Saturday, Republic TV confronted the pro-Pakistan group behind the banner controversy.
The organiser, Fahim Kayani in a telephonic conversation with Republic TV admitted that the Britain-based Kashmiri organisation was 'pro-Pakistan' because he claimed that Pakistan was the "only country on an international level who plead a case for the people of Kashmir."
The organiser further said that there are rich businessmen supporting him and that thousands of pounds were spent for this act.
Here is the conversation:
Reporter: I just want to know, how many pro-Pakistan organizations have helped you to get a plane in the air? Tell me honestly.
Fahim Kayani: They are Kashmiri organizations, they are not pro-Pakistan organizations, they are Kashmiri organizations.
Reporter: But you just said, that majority of people are pro-Pakistan minded.
Fahim Kayani, Tehreek-e-Kashmir, UK: No, (inaudible) majority of Kashmiris are pro-Pakistan because Pakistan considers Kashmir as their territory. But, this is not done by pro-Pakistan people, it is done by Kashmiri.
Anilesh, reporter: Okay, who told you that
Fahim Kayani: What is the opposite of pro-Pakistan? Anti-Pakistan, we are not anti-Pakistan, the ex-prime minister of Pakistan said in un general assembly that he is ready to demilitarize Kashmir simultaneously, on the other hand, Modi is denying the basic right to the people of Kashmir.
Reporter: Kayani sir, you understand the problem here, the problem is that you fall for the trap of Pakistan agenda and you don't understand the Indian democracy. And so my question to you is very simple. My question is, did you involve people from Pakistan today? The pro-Pakistani people?
Fahim Kayani: No, all people were from Kashmir, but yes, the people, they have good sentiments towards Pakistan, listen to me, and there is no doubt about it.
Reporter: Oh, they have good sentiments for Pakistan, right?
Fahim Kayani: Those people are not against India as well, they are not anti- India, anti-India means you hate the existence of India.
Reporter: No, but you said very importantly......
Fahim Kayani: We are not anti-India
Reporter: But, Kayani sir, you said that they have strong sentiments for Pakistan.
Fahim Kayani: Yes, they have strong sentiments for Pakistan, because Pakistan is the only country who raised the issue of Kashmir at an international level.
Reporter: How did you plan all this? How did you plan this? Whose idea was it? Whose idea was it to come up with such a plane and malign the image of India at an international level
Fahim Kayani: My friends gave me this idea, something like that.
Reporter: Are you suggesting to me that every Kashmiri living in Britain is pro-Pakistan?
Fahim Kayani: Yes, we Kashmiris are on the side of Pakistan as Pakistan is supporting our issue.
Reporter: How much money did you spend for this today? How much money did you spend?
Fahim Kayani: It could be in 1000's, why should I discuss it with you people?
Reporter: It could be thousands you are saying
Fahim Kayani: It could be in 1000's
Reporter: And how did you arrange this money?
Fahim Kayani: We have our sources, right next to me a businessman is sitting here, he can give me whatever I want and people are anyway very much passionate about Kashmir.
In an attempt to malign India's image, minutes after the match began, an aircraft carrying the banner 'Justice for Kashmir' flew above the ground. After half an hour, a similar looking aircraft flew over the stadium with a different banner 'India Stop Genocide, Free Kashmir'. Midway into India's run chase, a third aircraft was seen with a banner 'Help End Mob Lynching'.
During the match between Pakistan and Afghanistan, where clashes broke out between the fans of either nation, jets carrying anti-Pakistan, 'Justice for Balochistan' banners unfurled over the stadium. The slogans demanded an end to alleged 'forceful disappearances' in the strife-torn Balochistan.
The incident took place at 10.40 am local time and the aircraft took 6-7 rounds. The unsavoury incident has prompted the BCCI to file a written complaint with the International Cricket Council.
In an official statement about the provocative move, ICC said, “We are incredibly disappointed this has happened again. We do not condone any sort of political messages at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Throughout the tournament, we have worked with local police forces around the country to prevent this type of protest occurring. After the previous incident, we were assured by West Yorkshire Police, there would not be a repeat of this issue, so we are very dissatisfied it has happened again.”
(With PTI inputs)