Pak PM plays down reports of Fai-ISI `links`

Pak PM said he would comment on the reports of Fai-ISI `links` only after the facts are established.

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday sought to play down reports of the alleged links between the ISI and Kashmiri separatist leader Ghulam Nabi Fai who has been arrested in the US, saying he would comment on the issue only after the facts are established.

"The allegations made against him (Fai), when some facts emerge, then we will comment," Gilani told reporters on the sidelines of an official function here this afternoon.

The Premier was answering questions about Pakistan government`s response to the arrest of Fai by US authorities on charges of illegally funnelling up to four million dollars provided by the ISI to influence American policy on the Kashmir issue.

Asked about Fai`s alleged links to the ISI, Gilani said: "Let the facts come and then we`ll comment on that."

He lauded the work done by Fai for the Kashmir issue. "As far as Fai sahab is concerned, he is an honourable man and he has done a lot of work for the Kashmir cause. But he doesn`t belong to Pakistan. He belongs to (Jammu and
Kashmir)," he said.

Fai, the head of the Kashmiri American Council, was arrested by the FBI in Virginia earlier this week.

Zaheer Ahmad, a Pakistani-American who owns one of Islamabad`s best hospitals, was charged along with Fai. Ahmad is believed to currently be in Pakistan.

Pakistan`s Foreign Office has protested against Fai`s arrest and a "slander campaign" against the country in a demarche to the US embassy.