M. J. Gohel

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M. J. Gohel

M. J. Gohel is director and CEO of the Asia-Pacific Foundation [1], which he runs with his son Sajjan M. Gohel. His other roles include:

  • Associate Fellow with RUSI [2].
  • A member of the University of Paris (II) International Scientific Advisory Board [3].
  • A member of the United Nations ‘Roster of Experts’ at its Terrorism Prevention Branch [4].

Biographies are not very informative about his career prior to the formation of the APF in 2001. However, a November 1998 report in the Jammu and Kashmir Daily Excelsior stated that at that time, he apparently was secretary of the South Asia secretariat of the Next Century Foundation, a British conflict-resolution NGO [5]. It is certainly possible that this is the same person who now runs the Asia-Pacific Foundation.

His full name is Mayurdhwajasinh Jayvantsinh Gohel [6]. He is the son of the late Jay K. Gohel, a Conservative Party stalwart and friend of Margaret Thatcher [7].

At least in the past, he was married to Princess Rajyshree Kumariji, the daughter of Dr Karni Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner [8] [9]. Bikaner district borders Pakistan [10]. It is unclear whether the couple are still married.

July 2001 Agra summit

Writing in the September 2001 APF Bulletin about the 2001 Agra Summit between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf, Gohel stated that:

"On the plus side, Vajpayee has shown that he is a man of peace and vision, and perhaps laid to rest the generally perceived hard line face of the so-called ‘Hindu nationalist’ BJP led government. Vajpayee’s willingness to forget and forgive past events, especially the Kargil humiliation, as also the hijacking of Indian Airlines IC-814, for which Delhi had accused Pakistan of being involved in (denied by Islamabad) might be the kind of bold statesmanship that is required to achieve a break through. Will Musharraf reciprocate? Can he do so? More importantly, does he want to do so? Post-summit events, such as the increase in violence in Kashmir, do not give rise to any optimism." [11] (previously available at [12]).

Characterising Vajpayee as "a man of peace and vision" may have been unduly optimistic. According to Kranti Kumara of the World Socialist Web Site, former Indian president K.R. Narayanan has accused Vajpayee of complicity in the 2002 violence in Gujarat. Many claim the violence amounted to a pogrom against that state's Muslim minority [13].

European Role Over Iraq

In his May 2004 evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Gohel took a distinctly Blairite line on Iraq:

"This is an issue that has been raised quite a lot recently. Terrorism would have existed with or without Iraq. It is not as if Iraq has created a new situation, but Iraq is becoming a battle ground... It is vitally important to turn Iraq around into a successful, prosperous, democratic state, and it is rather sad that a number of leading European nations are sitting on the sidelines, rubbing their hands at the discomfiture of both Britain and the USA, not realising that this is going to hit them also eventually. I think their glee will be very short-lived unless they start to contribute, and I am rather surprised they do not understand the importance of Iraq." [14]

Al-Qaeda Connections to Pakistan

  • April 2004: "The information coming through over the last 24 hours seems to indicate that a number of instructions for attacks in Europe are coming out of Pakistan, and it appears that al-Qaeda and the affiliated groups within the global Jihad movement are very much based in Pakistan and are pretty active out there." [15]
  • September 2004: "[Al Qaeda suspects are] not being caught in some haystack on the border... The conclusion has to be that there are still elements in the government or the intelligence services that are protecting these individuals." [16]
  • July 2005: "Yet again with 7/7 we see all roads lead to Pakistan" [17]
  • July 2005: "...Pakistan still seems to be the epicentre for global jihad..." [18]

Contact details

Email: mj AT apfoundation.org [19]

SourceWatch resources

External links