Ghulam Nabi Fai admits to receiving money from ISI

Published: July 27, 2011

To be released on bond of $100,000 and is placed under house arrest. PHOTO: ONLINE/ FILE

ALEXANDRIA: In a federal courthouse, nearly two and a half hours after his case was scheduled to begin, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai was brought into Courtroom number 501, filled primarily with his supporters and journalists from the subcontinent.

As Fai’s wife and friends watched on, Gordon Kromberg, the prosecution lawyer, began by telling the court that Fai had admitted to receiving funds from the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence agency.

However, Fai’s lawyers, Nina Ginsberg and Khurram Wahid, painted a case of Fai maintaining independence from the ISI’s viewpoint. According to the defense, Fai had received funds over the years from the ISI but he had always raised the voice for the cause of Kashmiris, and in the events that he organized, he always took care to present a balanced point of view, by inviting both Indians and Pakistanis. He may have received bullet points from them on subjects, but on many occasions, said his lawyers, Fai’s stance on Kashmir differed from that of the Government of Pakistan.

The defense also called FBI Agent Sarah Linden to testify, who has been named in the affidavit prepared by the FBI against Fai. Agent Linden said that Fai had in the past denied having links to the ISI or his handlers. When asked about three handlers by the FBI, Agent Linden said that Fai denied knowing two of them, and in the third person’s case, Fai said he had last spoken to the person ten years ago. However, said the prosecution, Fai had admitted to receiving funds from the ISI after he was questioned following his arrest.

In an absurd twist to the case, Agent Linden also talked about a paper clipping that had been found in Fai’s luggage after he had returned from a visit by the airport authorities. The newspaper clip was about the Raymond Davis case, however, Fai had said that the flip side of the newspaper bore his photograph, which is why he had saved and carried the newspaper clipping with him.

After the arguments by both the prosecution and defense, the judge set a bond of $100,000 for Fai, which is to be signed by his wife as the co-guarantor. Amongst conditions set by the judge, Fai will be placed under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device, and will not be allowed to leave the Washington area. Fai’s wife has also been asked to surrender her passport to US authorities; Fai’s passport is already with the USG.

Fai has also been asked to not maintain any contact with any foreign government or witness.

Speaking to the media after the court proceedings, Fai’s lawyers handed out a statement prepared by Fai. According to the statement, “It has been my lifelong commitment to the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their religious background and cultural affiliations to help achieve the right of self-determination to decide their future. God willing, I will continue to do that in days, weeks, months and years to come.”

Fai was arrested earlier this month, and was working as the director of the Kashmiri American Council. He has been charged with not informing the US government that he was in the pay of the Pakistan government while lobbying for the Kashmir cause and donating funds to Congressmen. Fai’s lawyers said that they have waived the 30-day speed trial option, and will, over the next few months, be studying the documents associated with the case.

(Read: US arrest of Ghulam Nabi Fai was long overdue: India)

Reader Comments (64)

  • Imran Khan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:22AM

    Shameless stooge!

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  • Incredible
    Jul 27, 2011 - 10:55AM

    Mr. Fai received these funds thru havala. USA prosecuter should go on this angle also.

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  • ashok sai
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:02AM

    This is how the all aid received from various sources are channelised !

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 11:19AM

    I have seen many people on this coming up with a conspiracy theory of CIA/MOSAD/RAW.They will have to cook a new theory now.I have full faith these conspiracy theorist will come up with a new theory…just waiting to read that.

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  • Adeel Ahmed
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:22AM

    Yes ISI helps Kashmiri brothers to fulfil their God given birth right of freedom to choose…
    Why is this such a secret… ?
    ISI/Pakistan armed force also help Palestine, Cechnya, Bosnia, etc…

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 11:29AM

    I am not sure if there is anything wrong in trying to help a group of people achieve their freedom from a very feudal standard nation, with corrupt bureaucracy, nitwit politicians, and horrible civic standards.

    As to taking money and such things, it is as common as the pebbles on the streets, in nations such as India and Pakistan.

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  • Akthar
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:35AM

    This is a tight slap on the ISIs face. Caught Red handed & Fais own admission into the crime, the Kashmirs cause shall appear to the world as ISIs own creation. The Kargil Misadventure, defeat and the lies during the conflict, denying to the whole world that Mujahideen was occupying the heights & later admitting that it’s our army which is behind has lost all credibility for the country and the cause of Kashmir. I don’t understand why our Government/Generals are so thoughtless and visionless.

    With these actions, Army have eroded the worlds sympathy towards the kashmiris & brought disrepute to the nation. I think we have damaged the Kashmir cause more than anything & believe, we should not interfere in Kashmir. Kashmiris do it better & lets leave it to them.

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  • Saaq
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:45AM

    This is nothing but another cheap and hopless American govt. tactic to disgrace PAK ISI…. and to revenge the humiliations caused to US due to CIA spy Raymond Davis..

    The day Americans will leave Afghanistan, Iraq and Paksitan..World peace will be restored back to normal of the year 2000……..inshAllah…

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  • Akthar
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Dear Mod, Please allow me to make an additional post.

    Every country has intelligence activities like these, but we get caught so often with the shoe in the wrong foot. & yet, never ever, any action taken against people responsible for the failures. Be it the losses in 1965, 1972, Kargil, Abbottabad – Osama incident, PNS Raid, GHQ Attack, handing over Shamsi Base during Mush era, Raymond Davis Affair or now this incident of Fai.

    This incident of Pai, made the entire Kashmir issue lose credibility in front of the whole world. We are always on the headlines on the wrong side & yet, we live in absolute denial. Let`s all blame ET & its editors for all the ills in Pakistan and forget the rest.

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  • Feroz
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:48AM

    Pakistan may be a poor nation but the ISI has plenty of Funds for its ideological battles. Nothing to worry, ISI will find another agent

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 11:48AM

    That is Cat n Mouse game between ISI and CIA
    ISI’s turn now!!!

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  • ali
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:52AM

    SO WHAT???
    Every government funds its supporters in the US for lobbying for their cause!
    I am sure RAW and MOSSAD have ten time as many lobbyists sitting there!
    This is simply American hypocricy against Pakistan and an attempt to defame ISI!
    And no conspiracy theory is required to understand this simple phenomena!
    I am proud of Ghulam Nabi Fai for supporting the Kashmir cause in the USA!

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 12:01PM

    The headline of this news story, “Ghulam Nabi Fai admits to receiving money from ISI”, is false, malicious, misleading and a fraud against all The Express Tribune readers.

    James Vicini, a Reporter of Reuters, the British news agency, has rightly reported: “Fai did not say anything during the hearing.” (Reference: “U.S. citizen in Pakistani lobbying case out on bond”, Reuters news report, 26 July 2011).

    This true fact (total silence of Kashmir’s Ambassador to the USA Dr. Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai during his court hearing of Tuesday, 26 July 2011) proves that the headline of the Huma Imtiaz story is false, malicious, misleading and fraudulent.

    Furthermore, writer Huma Imtiaz has NOT reported the whole truth and real facts in his/her story about Kashmiri-American human rights advocate Dr. Fai.

    The Reuters has correctly reported:

    “Prosecutor Gordon Kromberg said at the hearing that Fai admitted to an FBI agent after his arrest last week his affiliation with the Pakistani intelligence agency [ISI] for 15 years and that he had been in contact with his “handlers.” Kromberg said the foreign intelligence service has an obligation to protect Fai and that he presented a risk of fleeing the country.”

    “Defense lawyer Nina Ginsberg disagreed. She said Pakistan has strenuously denied the allegations in the case and that there was no evidence to support Kromberg’s claims that the intelligence agency [ISI] would try to help Fai.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/26/us-usa-pakistan-kashmir-idUSTRE76P7ED20110726

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  • hassan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:25PM

    1.) Army takes money from US.
    2.) Army passes on some of this money to ISI.
    3.) ISI gives money to Mr Fai.
    4.) Mr Fai gives money to Americal senators.
    5.) So, essentially, the Pakistan’s money has not been given away. It is the money of US tax payer’s which has gone back to their system

    We actually should be proud of our patriotic ISI for fighting for the cause of fellow muslims with US money….

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  • Rahul Singh
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:30PM

    I wonder what will be the response of the Pakistani government now. Once again an embarrassing situation for them

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  • Irtiza
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:34PM

    Funny, both prosecution and one of the defense attorneys is Jewish. Does anybody smell a snake here?

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  • No
    Jul 27, 2011 - 12:38PM

    So what if he received ISI money. RAW is financing the terrorists in Baluchistan. India is financing its political lobby in the US.

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  • Asif
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:00PM

    Brilliant, can’t ask for more…Recommend

  • imran
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:23PM

    should we not lodge criminal cases against Americal all over the world as CIA is doing same thing to get their agenda forward.

    I am unable to understand what is wrong if ISI paid him to lobby Pakistan’s interest in US.

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  • Ozymandias
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:44PM

    It’s called lobbying, why don’t you geniuses look up how AIPAC is funded sometime.

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  • SUB
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:45PM

    Put all the politicians in India & Pakistan on trial and a good number of them will be found getting moneys & benefits from foreign powers and agencies to help promote their cause. Fai is only bad enough because he has a Muslim name and his NGO or whatever has the word Kashmir in it. Only people content about this arrest I have seen in news are Indians

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  • Incredible
    Jul 27, 2011 - 1:50PM

    @No
    Pervez Musharraf first made the clear that he had PROOF of India’s invlovment in Buluchistan.
    Has any on seen it?

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  • Bilafond
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:09PM

    This is a Digital Movie going on in all theatres in US. No special glasses required. Yes now ISI will return few more US “Diplomats” from Toll Plazas in full view of our “Breaking News” hungry Media Cameras super imposed with “exclusive”. Who needs Hollywood/Bollywood blockbusters.

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 2:12PM

    @No:
    I fully Agree with you- Lobbying for some cause is no crime and every Tom, Dick and Harry does it. Obama and Bush hired expensive lobbyist for their Election Campaigns. So if Pakistan hired him (Fai) why so hue an Cry for a just cause.

    India is spending Millions of Dollars in US and elswhere for anti-Pakistan smear Campaign. Everybody has its own agenda.

    Let this issue not be blown out of proportion and be seen as straight case as Pakistan is only helping for the just cause of Kashmir so that Kashmiries may attain their independence from India which is denied by them.

    After all Fai himself said ” “It has been my lifelong commitment to the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of their religious background and cultural affiliations to help achieve the right of self-determination to decide their future. God willing, I will continue to do that in days, weeks, months and years to come.”

    Keep it up Kashmiris – your struggle is getting momentum and you will be liberated soon inshallah.

    Regards

    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi
    Johannesburg – South Africa.

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  • Naz Ebr
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:24PM

    @Hassan:We actually should be proud of our patriotic ISI for fighting for the cause of fellow muslims with US money….

    I like your innocence.

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 2:25PM

    Strange

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  • Lobster
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:28PM

    So US thinks that the lobbyists work without money? Indian authorities are so innocent that they have no lobbyist in US?

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  • Prasad Mumbai
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:30PM

    Roughly $4 million USD wasted…on a dead issue…imagine how many schools could have utilized this money as aid. Wake up…

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  • pl/sql
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:33PM

    CIA/RAW/Mossad conspiracy to malign Pakistan and Islam….right my Pakistani neighbours?

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  • vivek
    Jul 27, 2011 - 2:43PM

    every country is doing the same thing but what makes difference between isi and other secret service is others can easily track isi activities with strong proof, a core idea of secret service is not to left proof behind your activities. raw, cia , mossad are all doing this but they are all been said as conspiracy theory since they wont left proof.. ISI needs more intelligence not just in their name but in their activities.

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  • Jul 27, 2011 - 2:52PM

    ISI’s chooses the way its money is spent…ppl should not question the sources or ways…

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  • ali
    Jul 27, 2011 - 3:46PM

    @Prasad Mumbai:
    Who says its a dead issue, its the core issue and THE cause of existing tension between Pakistan and India.
    US must have known it since ages as to who was funding Fai for his activities related to Kashmir issue.
    Its is an expected resoponse and should not come as surprise in the back drop of existing tension between Pakistan and USA.
    Its TOM & JERRY show going on in DC and at Islamabad.

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  • Y Khan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:08PM

    As I had said after a few days in jail, Fai would have agreed to be taking money from Alqaeda based in mars. Now he he is out on bail and will be released with a nothing sentence because the real aim was the ISI and that has been achieved.

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  • Hypervan
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:15PM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    Moral support for the Kashmiris ,YES.Terrorist support ,NO.

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  • Roflcopter
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:32PM

    So what?

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  • UL
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:34PM

    Lets start a trial of a few Pakistani politicians and journalists who are on US payroll. Lets make that public/on the international media. In your face US… if you can produce one Fai… we’ll have a hundred such examples.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:51PM

    I think a formal and public apology from Pakistan is warranted!

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  • Tony Singh
    Jul 27, 2011 - 4:54PM

    I think many of the commentators are not getting it.
    Analogy is : its okay to drive a car on road provided you have a valid driving license and proper car registration. But its not okay to do the same if you are driving without a valid license and proper registration. In such a case you are at the mercy of local policeman. So long as he turns a blind eye, fine. But once you rub him the wrong way, you are in trouble. Same is the case with Mr. Fai. Pakistan rubbed USA the wrong way and Fai is caught driving without a license. There will be many more exposed “Fais” on the way.

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  • narayana murthy
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:20PM

    Many Pakistanis don’t seem to understand the gravity of the situation and how much damage it has caused to the earnest Kashmiris.

    Tomorrow, every stone pelter will be suspected to have received backing money from Pakistan. All the lobbying in the west for Kashmir’s freedom (however meaningless and fruitless it may be), will be suspected. People from Hurriyat (who already have little credibility), will lose all credibility and they would be treated as puppets. Even if non-state actors (however silly that tag is) stage a terrorist attack, Pakistan will be suspected.

    Today, the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir has made a statement about the hypocrites of Kashmiri freedom movement. It was about some innocent muslims that got killed by a bunch of terrorists and the separatists did not condemn these attacks.

    That’s exactly all these people will be termed, hypocrites.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:20PM

    It’s apparent that most of the posters just don’t get it. In the USA you can lobby for any cause you want — you just can’t take money from any foreign source without disclosing it. That should make sense to you — but apparently laws against deceit are something that don’t apply in Pakistan?
    ..
    Pakistan wants to lobby the USA for Kashmir or any other cause — fine — just have your agent disclose it.

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  • Faction
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:23PM

    @Irtiza: Nice logic there. How about “he’s a Muslim, so he must be a lying terrorist.”. Bigotry works both ways, you see!

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  • Cosmo
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:41PM

    @hassan:
    If only you could be the lead economist for Pakistan we Indians will be so happy.
    Dooms day lingers close by.

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  • Bangash
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:42PM

    Headline is different from content of article.

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  • Ishrat Salim
    Jul 27, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Very well said…who funds AIPAC ??….& on whose money thoudsands of American lobbyists PR firms ) are surviving….nobody looks from this angle….?? Pakistna has also got a PR firm who lobbys for our country….?? so ,what is the big deal ??….just because the Americans are saying so….

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  • Pashtun
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:04PM

    Giving money is understood,but being caught is incompetency,non professionalism and not knowing and performing your assigned job properly.

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  • Tony Singh
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:17PM

    @ali:
    Mr. Ali, Kashmir is not the “core issue”. Partition is. You cannot address “Kashmir issue” without addressing partition itself. Its simple as that.

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  • Realist.
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:35PM

    So ?

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  • Shabbir Baloch
    Jul 27, 2011 - 6:42PM

    ISI/Pakistan armed force always help Kashmir. ISI helps Kashmiri brothers to fulfil their God given birth right of freedom to choose, this is not a secret.

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  • Arif
    Jul 27, 2011 - 7:19PM

    I am surprised at the claim made in this story that Fai’s lawyers have admitted to his receiving funds from ISI. Even the Press Trust of India did not make such claims or mention such a thing. Guys check your reporting. Why would Fai’s defence admit to such a thing? What is left in the case after such admission.

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  • Cautious
    Jul 27, 2011 - 8:21PM

    The silence from the Pakistani govt is deafening. What happen to all those comment saying the USA was slandering the image of Pakistan?

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  • rock
    Jul 27, 2011 - 9:51PM

    Mr. fai seems to be very rich guy. what’s is job profile? I mean source of income..

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  • Incredible
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:15PM

    @UL.
    Please disclose their names.

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  • amused
    Jul 27, 2011 - 11:35PM

    When the prosecutor made a direct claim that Fai admitted to receiving funds from the ISI. You can bet they will have video tapes of the interview to back it up. What is the point in denying it?

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  • Salman
    Jul 28, 2011 - 12:37AM

    @Rahul Singh: No, it is not an embarassing situation at all. It is a known fact that Pakistan supports the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris. In support of that if it funds any organization in the U.S. it is not illegal. The law in the U.S. requires someone working for or lobbying for a foreign government to register as a lobbyist. Receiving money is not illegal, but not declaring yourself as an agent or lobbyist is illegal. I bet that Dr. Fai’s defence would be that he was not acting as an agent or lobbyist. He will not deny that his organization, Kashmiri American Council, received funds from Pakistan Governmental sources but I am certain that he will deny that he was acting as their agent or lobbyist. Pakistan has many paid lobbyists in the U.S. and India has more. Pakistan’s lobbyists in the U.S., Mark Siegel, and at one time Lloyd Cutler are pretty well known personalities.

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  • Sundar
    Jul 28, 2011 - 2:06AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    Come on doc you are kidding , right? Being a doctor you should be smart enough to realize Fai broke the law by NOT registering his so called ngo and money trail. Simply put isi tried to bribe US law makers thro this guy Fai. But it is not helping the cause as it turned out.

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  • Malik Sajjad
    Jul 28, 2011 - 4:49AM

    This is a Game of US and Indian agencies against ISI but no problem every person of Pakistan is with ISI and we will always high the morals of ISI.Insha’AllahRecommend

  • Chacha
    Jul 28, 2011 - 10:46AM

    ISI sent the money through some well off Pakistani professionals – providing money to them in Pak and they are then writing cheques from thier US accounts to FAI and then claiming a tax deduction.

    In legal terms, in almost all jurisdictions including Pakistan, this is called tax evasion and money laundering. So now some Pakistani professionals in the US would be looking very nervously over thier shoulder. If they get arrested, which as per law they should, Pakistan will complain of harrassment. Never mind the fact that they broke the law.

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  • Cynical
    Jul 28, 2011 - 3:16PM

    If one has to declare his (even if it’s a NGO) source of income/fund, one has to comply with the rules. Fai didn’t. Authority takes action. It’s as simple as that. How it’s seen at certain quarter as anti Pakistan or anti Kashmir is beyond comprehension.

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  • Asim
    Jul 28, 2011 - 4:13PM

    @Tony Singh:
    Don’t be angry Mr Tony. For India may be this is not a big issue but for Pakistan this is the core issue and we have to do every thing which is in the favor of Kashmir.

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  • Cautious
    Jul 28, 2011 - 9:23PM

    @hassan We actually should be proud of our patriotic ISI for fighting for the cause of fellow muslims with US money….
    ..
    I guess it doesn’t matter to you that the money was suppose to go for schools, sewers, roads, and otherwise help the people of Pakistan. I also suppose it hasn’t dawned on you that misdirecting funds is called theft by the rest of the World. Your line of thinking is one of the reasons that many people don’t trust Pakistan and believe that corruption is endemic.

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  • Arjun
    Jul 29, 2011 - 2:42AM

    Fai will be placed under house arrest with an electronic monitoring device, and will not be allowed to leave the Washington area.

    Set out to get azaadi for Kashmir and ended up a prisoner in his own house.

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  • My Name is Khan
    Jul 29, 2011 - 11:15AM

    @ Salman – your comment is very disheartening for reasonable Pakistanis. It shows me why the world thinks so poorly of us. You just make an excuse for Dr. Fai’s violation of another country’s laws in the same way that we Pakistanis run around like headless chickens defending proven terrorists like Aafia S.

    Why must we only defend criminals? Is this what Pakistan is about? We are a country made for criminals who rob us of our pride, dignity and national wealth and for terrorists who make our lives miserable?

    Please fellow Pakistanis. Let’s realize there is some white and black in the world. Dr. Fai has just destroyed massive credibility for the Kashmiri cause. To our Kashmiri brothers – I am sorry that we have bungled this so badly but seriously we’re tired of wasting money on you. Please go your own way and leave us in peace.Recommend

  • Tony Singh
    Jul 29, 2011 - 12:54PM

    @Asim:
    Read the comment in its totality. How can you solve so called “Kashmir issue” without addressing the issue of partition? BTW what is the status of so called “AJK” and GB?

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  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jul 31, 2011 - 11:26AM

    Shame on the US for shoving a innocent man whose only fault is to try and highlight India’s crimes in Kashmir, and to free the Kashmiri people from India, but obviously Obama has decided that Indian business is more important, and like a woman using her best assets, Obama wants the US to attract Indian attention.

    This is disgraceful, so what if the Pakistani govt was paying him, a lot of govts spend money to influence policy, its a legit industry and is called lobbying, India does it too, pretty much every foreign govt does it, so this case will be thrown out if the judge has not been manhandled by Obama and Co. Many countries do the same, this is not illegal, it has just made the Kashmir issue more difficult for the Kashmris and have emboldened India, but that means that India will not settle peacefully, so Pakistan must prepare for war.

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