Asia-Pacific Foundation

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The Asia-Pacific Foundation is a UK think tank, that describes itself as an "International Policy Assessment Group" [1].

History

The Asia-Pacific Foundation was launched in March 2001. According to the Jammu and Kashmir Daily Excelsior, a conference on terrorism in Asia was held in London to mark the launch of the foundation. The Excelsior's report characterised the focus of the conference as being Pakistan's alleged support for terrorism in the region. [2]

Personnel

M. J. Gohel is Sajjan Gohel's father. In their frequent appearances in print and broadcast media, the Gohels are described as, for example, "Counter-terrorism expert[s]" [3] and "security analyst[s]" [4].

Website

As of July 2005, the Foundation's website describes itself as "...undergoing reconstruction" [5]. It has done so since sometime around September 2004 [6]. However, until early August 2005, much of the website's previous content was available on hidden pages on the site. Within five days of links to those hidden pages being added to this article, all the pages were removed from the APF website. Hence the links were switched to point to a copy of the site in the Internet Archive from October 2004. However, as of September 2005 apfoundation.org appears to have been removed from the Internet Archive. Searching the archive gives a "Blocked site" error. According to the archive's FAQ, "Siteowners might have also requested that their sites be excluded from the Wayback Machine. When this has occurred, you will see a 'blocked site error' message." [7]

Funding

Until it was deleted in August 2005 (and then removed from the Internet Archive), the Foundation's "Organisation" page used to state that:

"The Asia-Pacific Foundation is supported by donations and grants. It is totally independent of both public and private bodies and is not a lobbying vehicle for any country, political party, denominational group, ideological movement, or pressure group, be they in the West or in the Asia Pacific region." [8]

No information appears to have ever been published detailing the Foundation's funding sources. The Foundation does not appear to publish accounts.

An August 2001 article by Graham Chapman of Lancaster University, who as at July 2005 is chair of the British Association of South Asian Studies [9], characterised the APF as "clearly something with business money behind it". However he offered no evidence to support his claim. [10]

Board of Patrons and Advisory Board

Also on its old "Organisation" page, the Foundation stated that it "...maintains a Board of Patrons as well as an Advisory Board, whose members originate from many countries across the globe. In keeping with the Foundation's stated aim of bringing a new, fresh and inclusive approach to issues, its members are not only from academia, but also from the world of literature, business, medicine, politics, defence and the media." [11]

It does not appear to have ever published a concise list of members of either board, but some details can be gleaned from statements made in its publications.

Advisory Board

Previous members:

Edits to this article from a RUSI internet address

On August 1, 2005, a series of anonymous edits were made to this article from the internet address royal-united-serv.adsl.altohiway.com (62.8.105.26), which appears to belong to the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies (RUSI). The edits were strongly critical of the APF, claiming for example that "Essentially, the Asia-Pacific Foundation is a family business led by MJ Gohel and supported by his son, Sajjan." [15]

Interestingly, the anonymous contributor from RUSI removed mention of the fact that RUSI's director, Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold, is the Asia-Pacific Foundation's Chair [16].

The fact that a RUSI internet address was used does not necessarily indicate the contributor was a RUSI employee. For example, he/she could have been a student attending a RUSI conference, and using a shared computer.

Is the APF a company, a charity, or neither?

There does not appear to be an "Asia-Pacific Foundation" registered either at Companies House [17] or at the UK Charity Commission [18]. Attempting to ascertain whether and how the organisation has been formally registered is not made easier by the fact it has never published a postal address. However, MJ and Sajjan Gohel are directors of Geo Political Research Limited, along with Anupama Kumari Gohel [19], who is MJ Gohel's daughter [20]. It is not known whether this consulting company has any operational or financial connection to the APF.

In the past, the Foundation has certainly given the impression that it has charitable status. The 'Organisation' page on the APF's website used to state: "The Asia-Pacific Foundation is an independent, non-profit making policy assessment group... The Asia-Pacific Foundation is supported by donations and grants." [21]

Publications

  • M.J. Gohel and Sajjan M. Gohel, "London Terror Attacks and the Aftermath", July 2005. Not available on the web, but summarised here.

Contact details

Email: info AT apfoundation.org
Web: http://www.apfoundation.org/
Also available at www.asiapacificfoundation.org

The Foundation does not publish a contact postal address or telephone number [22].

SourceWatch resources

External links

Articles