Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (3 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   No comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Dr. Fai's arrest tit-for-tat move by the US

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (4 fans)
- Advertisement -

US-Pakistan relations took a new twist Tuesday when Washington arrested the Kashmiri leader, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, on charges of working for the Pakistani spy agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) which purportedly gave $4 million to Dr. Fai for years to lobby for the Kashmir issue.

However, Pakistan Today newspaper reported that the arrest of Washington-based Kashmiri American Council (KAC) President Dr. Fai, seems to be an act of retaliation by the US in response to Islamabad's refusal to set free Dr Shakil Afridi, a local physician arrested in the wake of the May 2 Abbottabad operation on charges of spying for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The paper quoted unidentified sources as saying that during July 13 visit of the ISI chief Lt General Ahmad Shuja Pasha to Washington US officials demanded the release of Dr. Afridi but General Pasha refused and the Americans decided to arrest Dr Fai on charges of working as an operative for the ISI.

This was the second US allegation against the ISI within three weeks. On July 4 Washington accused the ISI of involvement in the kidnapping and killing of senior journalist Saleem Shahzad. The allegations come amid increasingly strained ties between the United States and Pakistan.

It also sends a clear message to Islamabad and the Pakistan Army to bring flexibility in their stance and accept the US demands, otherwise such actions could be taken in future as well.

In an affidavit filed in court, the FBI said Pakistan has spent at least $4 million since the mid-1990s lobbying the U.S. Congress and the White House through Fai and the Kashmiri American Council, also known as the Kashmir Center, where Fai served as executive director. The KAC was founded in 1990.

Dr Fai was born in 1949 in Indian-administered Kashmir. He was briefly attached to the Jamaat-e-Islami, a right-wing Islamic organisation, in Kashmir. He left India decades ago after graduating from Aligarh Muslim University in northern India, and worked in Saudi Arabia for some years before moving to the US for higher studies in 1977.  

He gained a doctorate in Mass Communications from Temple University in Pennsylvania and stayed on in the US. Ten years later he became a US citizen. Dr Fai founded the Kashmiri American Council with a view to making American politicians and congressmen, as he put it to me once, "aware of the Kashmir issue". He has been addressing congressmen, academics and journalists on Kashmir over the last 30 years. Some American academics seem to have a high regard for him and his endeavors.

- Advertisement -

The FBI affidavit

The FBI affidavit detailed the alleged scheme in which Fai's organization received up to $700,000 annually from Pakistan to make campaign contributions to U.S. politicians, sponsor conferences and other promotions.

"Mr. Fai is accused of a decades-long scheme with one purpose -- to hide Pakistan's involvement behind his efforts to influence the U.S. government's position on Kashmir," said Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for Eastern Virginia.

The Justice Department has also charged (in absentia) a second man, Zaheer Ahmad, with recruiting dummy donors for the KAC, through whom the ISI routed the funds. Zaheer Ahmad is an American of Pakistani origin.

One unidentified confidential witness told investigators that Pakistan's powerful military spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, was behind some of the money Fai received, according to the FBI affidavit. A second confidential witness said the spy agency had sponsored and controlled Fai's organization and had been directing him for the past 25 years, the court papers said.

- Advertisement -

The FBI alleged the Dr. Fai lobbied at the Congress and the Administration on behalf of Pakistan without declaring himself as the a Pakistani agent. The FBI affidavit said Fai had denied that he had lobbied, saying instead he was involved in public relations.

Federal election records showed Fai had given $23,500 to U.S. political candidates since 1997, including $250 to President Barack Obama's presidential campaign as well as $7,500 to Republican Representative Dan Burton of Indiana. Congressman Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican, also received donations from Dr Fai. However, the Justice Department said that there was no evidence that any elected officials who received the contributions from Fai or his group knew that it came from the Pakistani government. 

Setback to Kashmiri independence cause in Congress

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

U.S. Muslims condemn killings of American diplomats in Libya

Are we living in Orwell's 1984 Oceania surveillance state?

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part One

Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated by America

85 percent Muslims voted for President Obama

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part Two

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments