ISI funded Kashmir lobbying in US
ISI has been channeling millions of dollars to its sympathizers based in the US to influence lawmakers by lobbying for Islamabad’s view n Kashmir.
New Delhi: Although it is well known that Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has been fuelling the separatist movement in Kashmir, but new revelations, Wednesday, have exposed the extent of its sinister plan.
Federal investigators have exposed that ISI has been channeling millions of dollars to its sympathizers based in the United States to influence US lawmakers by lobbying for Islamabad’s view on Kashmir.
The matter came to fore after Federal authorities arrested a prominent US-based pro-Pakistan activist having links with the separatist leaders pushing for Kashmir’s liberation from India.
Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, a well-known representative of Kashmiri separatists in the US, who was apprehended by the FBI, is believed to be receiving money from the ISI, which was being used in lobbying among the US decision-makers.
As per reports, the FBI raided the Virginia residence of Dr Fai detained him on charges of ``participating in a long-term conspiracy to act as agents of the Pakistani government in the United States without disclosing their affiliation with the Pakistani government as required by law.``
In other words, Fai has been detained for working as a frontman for ISI`s Kashmir agenda.
The FBI is also looking for another US citizen Zaheer Ahmed, who faces similar charges as Dr Fai. However, Ahmed secretly slipped out of the US and is currently believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
The FBI claims that Fai and the KAC have received at least $4 million from the Pakistani government since the mid-1990s through Ahmad and his funding network.
The money from ISI is allegedly routed to Fai through Ahmad and a close network of other individuals. Ahmad used his contacts in the United States to provide money to Fai, which was repaid to their relatives in Pakistan.
Fai has earned a good reputation in Washington DC in the last two decades and had been fighting for the plight of Kashmiris as Executive Director of the Kashmiri-American Council (KAC). He is believed to have developed good contacts with several influential Senators and Congressmen.
US authorities now suspect that KAC was just an ISI front with adequate financing from Pakistan`s spy agency.
In its affidavit, the FBI has alleged that despite the KAC declaring itself as a Kashmiri organization run by Kashmiris and financed by Americans, ``it is one of three ‘Kashmir Centers` that are actually run by elements of the Pakistani government, including ISI.``
The affidavit also mentions about two other Kashmir Centers currently operating from London, England, and Brussels, Belgium.
A confidential witness told FBI that he was part of a scheme to obscure the source of money funneled by the ISI to Fai to promote Pakistan government’s interest.
The witness revealed that the money transferred to Fai through Ahmad, an American living in Pakistan.
A second confidential witness informed the FBI that the KAC was created by the ISI to propagandize on behalf of the government of Pakistan with the goal of uniting Kashmir.``
The witness also revealed that facts about ISI sponsoring and controlling KAC were kept as a closely guarded secret.
It has now been established that ISI had been directing Fai`s activities for the past 25 years, the affidavit filed by the FBI says.
“Fai has acted at the direction of and with the financial support of the Pakistani government for more than 20 years. Four Pakistani government handlers have directed Fai`s US activities and Fai has been in touch with his handlers more than 4,000 times since June 2008,” the FBI has been quoted as saying in its affidavit.
In other startling revelations, the FBI revealed that Fai repeatedly submitted annual KAC strategy reports and budgetary requirements to his handlers in Pakistan for approval. It mentions a document entitled "Plan of Action of KAC / Kashmir Center for Fiscal Year 2009", which laid out a comprehensive plan on how FAI aimed at securing the support of US Congressional leaders in order to encourage the Executive Branch to support self-determination in Kashmir.
Fai also made efforts to establish contacts with the State Department, the National Security Council, the Congress and the Pentagon, and to expand KAC`s media efforts.