ISI agent Fai pleads guilty in US

Washington: US-based Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, accused of being an ISI agent and trying to influence American policy on Kashmir today pleaded guilty on federal charges of spying for the Pakistani spy agency.

Fai also acknowledged receiving money from the Pakistani spy agency through clandestine routes and causing revenue losses.

Ghulam Nabi Fai in this file photo. AFP

Pleading before the US Eastern District Court of Virginia, Fai pleaded guilty and agreed to the charges of federal prosecutors that he received at least $3.5 million from ISI between 1990 to 2011. This resulted in a revenue loss of between $200,000 to 400,000 to the US government.

His sentencing is scheduled for 9 March. Fai agreed before the court that he was in direct contact with the ISI officials including the head of its security directorate.

He conceded receiving talking points from ISI regarding what to say and write. He agreed that he received directions from ISI with regard to which specific individuals to invite for KAC conferences.

Fai, 62, has consented to forfeit all four bank accounts in his name or in the name of KAC totalling about $140,000. He also agreed before the court that he had send to the ISI annual budget of the KAC for approval.

He continues to be under house arrest till the time of his sentencing. Fai was arrested on spying charges on 19 July and then put under house arrest.

A resident of Fairfax Virginia, an affluent suburb of Washington DC, Fai was head of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC) and claimed to lobby on behalf of the people of Kashmir.

Federal prosecutors, in their submission before the court, have charged him with working for the ISI and accepting millions of dollars from the spy agency.

He is accused of funnelling $4 million ISI money into the US to influence country's Kashmir policy.

His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funnelled millions through the Kashmir Centre 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, US attorney Neil MacBride had said in July.

"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," MacBride had said.

The affidavit alleged that although the KAC held itself out to be a Kashmiri organisation run by Kashmiris and financed by Americans, it was one of three "Kashmir Centers" that are actually run by elements of the Pakistani government, including ISI. The two other Kashmir Centers are in London and Brussels.

The FBI had arrested Fai for allegedly collaborating with ISI by "clandestinely" funnelling hundreds and thousands of dollars to change the view of American lawmakers on Kashmir.

PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 08, 2011 11:23 AM

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