Follow by Email

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

PAK IMPROPER LOBBYING CASE: Pak military plotted to tilt US policy on Kashmir, says FBI!

FOR LIGHT READING, Download your free copy of “My First Beer” Now with the Smashwords Summer/Winter promotion, ending July 31, 2011

Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, Updated: July 20, 2011 17:12 IST.

Washington:  Pakistan's military, including its powerful spy agency, has spent $4 million over two decades in a covert attempt to tilt American policy against India's control of much of Kashmir - including funnelling campaign donations to members of Congress and presidential candidates, the F.B.I. claimed in court papers unsealed on Tuesday.

The allegations of a long-running plan to influence American elections and foreign policy come at a time of deep tensions between the United States and Pakistan - and in particular its spy agency - amid the fallout over the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound deep inside Pakistan on May 2.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation made the allegations in a 43-page affidavit filed in connection with the indictment of two United States citizens on charges that they failed to register with the Justice Department as agents of Pakistan, as required by law. One of the men, Zaheer Ahmad, is in Pakistan, but the other, Syed Fai, lives in Virginia and was arrested on Tuesday.

Mr. Fai is the director of the Kashmiri American Council, a Washington-based group that lobbies for and holds conferences and media events to promote the cause of self-determination for Kashmir. According to the affidavit, the activities by the group, also called the Kashmiri Centre, are largely financed by Pakistan's spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, along with as much as $100,000 a year in related donations to political campaigns in the United States. Foreign governments are prohibited from making donations to American political candidates.


"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," Neil MacBride, the United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, said. "His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funnelled millions through the Kashmir Centre to contribute to U.S. elected officials, fund high-profile conferences and pay for other efforts that promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington."

A spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy denied any connection to matter, saying, "Mr. Fai is not a Pakistani citizen, and the government and embassy of Pakistan have no knowledge of the case."

Law enforcement officials said Pakistan used a network of at least 10 unnamed straw contributors, which Mr. Ahmad helped organize, to make the campaign contributions and donate the bulk of the Kashmiri Centre's annual operating budget. The ISI would reimburse them - or their families in Pakistan - for the donations, the officials said.

Most of the straw donors who made contributions to the Kashmiri Centre and to politicians in the United States were identified only by code in the court document, though the investigation was continuing and eight F.B.I. field offices executed 17 or 18 search warrants related to other suspected donors on Tuesday, an official said.


The goal of the group, according to internal documents cited by the F.B.I., was to persuade the United States government that it was in its interest to push India to allow a vote in Kashmir to decide its future. The group's strategy was to offset the Indian lobby by targeting members of the Congressional committees that focus on foreign affairs with private briefings and events, staging activities that would draw media attention and otherwise to elevate the issue of Kashmir - the disputed region between India and Pakistan that each country controls in part but claims entirely - in Washington.


Full Story at,

No comments:

Post a Comment