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FBI arrests Kashmiri leader for team up with ISI

The FBI arrested Kashmiri separatist leader Ghulab Nabi Fai for allegedly collaborating with Pakistan`s ISI by "clandestinely" funnelling hundreds and thousands of dollars to change the view of American lawmakers on Kashmir.



Washington: The FBI on Tuesday arrested
Kashmiri separatist leader Ghulab Nabi Fai for allegedly
collaborating with Pakistan`s ISI by "clandestinely"
funnelling hundreds and thousands of dollars to change the
view of American lawmakers on Kashmir.

"Mr Fai is accused of a decades-long scheme with one
purpose to hide Pakistan`s involvement behind his efforts to
influence the US government`s position on Kashmir," said US
Attorney General for National Security Neil MacBride.

"His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funneled millions
through the Kashmir Center to contribute to US elected
officials, fund high-profile conferences, and pay for other
efforts that promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in
Washington," MacBride alleged in a press release issued by
the Department of Justice.

Along with Fai, 62, the FBI has also charged Zaheer
Ahmad, 63, a US citizen and resident of Pakistan, on similar
charges.

Ahmad remains at large and is believed to be in
Pakistan.

Both face a potential sentence of five years in prison
if convicted.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the
criminal complaint, Fai serves as the director of the Kashmiri
American Council (KAC), a non-governmental organization
located in Washington, DC, that was founded in 1990 and also
goes by the name "Kashmir Center."

The KAC describes itself in educational materials as a
"not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of
knowledge in the United States about the struggle of the
Kashmiri people for self-determination."

There was no immediate comment from the Pakistan
Embassy on the arrest.

The affidavit alleges that, although the KAC held
itself out to be a Kashmiri organization run by Kashmiris and
financed by Americans, the KAC is one of three "Kashmir
Centers" that are actually run by elements of the Pakistani
government, including Pakistan`s ISI.

The two other Kashmir Centers are in London and
Brussels.

According to the affidavit, a confidential witness
told investigators that he participated in a scheme to obscure
the origin of money transferred by ISI to Fai to use as a
lobbyist for the KAC in furtherance of Pakistani government
interests.

The witness explained that the money was transferred
to Fai through Ahmad, an American living in Pakistan.

A second confidential witness told investigators that
the ISI created the KAC to propagandize on behalf of the
government of Pakistan with the goal of uniting Kashmir.

This witness said ISI`s sponsorship and control of KAC
were secret and that ISI had been directing Fai’s activities
for the past 25 years.

When questioned by the FBI about these relationships
in March 2007, Fai allegedly stated that he had never met
anyone who identified himself as being affiliated with the
ISI.

In March 2010, the Justice Department sent Fai a
letter notifying him of his possible obligation to register as
a foreign agent with the Justice Department.

In his written response to the Justice Department, Fai
asserted that neither he nor KAC had ever engaged in any
activities for or provided any services to Pakistan or any
foreign entity.

In a March 2011 interview with the FBI, Fai again
denied having any relationship with anyone in the Pakistani
government.

The affidavit alleges that Fai has acted at the
direction of and with the financial support of the Pakistani
government for more than 20 years.

It also alleges that four Pakistani government
handlers have directed Fai`s US activities and that Fai has
been in touch with his handlers more than 4,000 times since
June 2008.

Fai`s handlers have also allegedly communicated with
Ahmad regularly.

For example, the affidavit alleges that Fai repeatedly
submitted annual KAC strategy reports and budgetary
requirements to his Pakistani government handlers for
approval.

One document entitled "Plan of Action of KAC/Kashmir
Center for Fiscal Year 2009" laid out Fai’s intended strategy
to secure US Congressional support in order to encourage the
Executive Branch to support self-determination in Kashmir; his
strategy to build new alliances in the State Department, the
National Security Council, the Congress and the Pentagon, and
to expand KAC`s media efforts.

According to the affidavit, Fai also set forth KAC`s
projected budgetary requirements from the Pakistani government
for 2009, including $100,000 for contributions to members of
Congress.

There is no evidence that any elected official who
received financial contributions from Fai or the KAC was aware
that the money originated from any part of the Pakistani
government.

According to the affidavit, Fai and the KAC have
received at least USD 4 million, from the Pakistani government
since the mid-1990s through Ahmad and his funding network.

The money is allegedly routed to Fai through Ahmad and
a network of other individuals connected to Ahmad.

Ahmad allegedly arranges for his contacts in the US to
provide money to Fai in return for repayment of those amounts
in Pakistan.

PTI

From Zee News

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