The recent arrest of Ghulam Nabi Fai, a US citizen, well illustrates the perils of opinion manipulation in democratic societies.
Fai, a respectable citizen by all appearances, is now facing allegations of being a paid agent of Pakistan—controlled by the Inter-Services Intelligence. Under US law, agents of foreign powers have to register themselves with the government. Not only did Fai do that, but he also paid unsuspecting US legislators to influence their views on Kashmir. All are upset at being used in this manner.
Closer home, Fai tried to influence liberal opinion in India too. Here again, some opinion makers were unaware of his real motives and were misled. This is the price that open societies have to pay for their openness, tolerance and freedom of expression. It is not surprising that Fai was controlled by a state that has shown scant respect for these values.