Decades after being one of the most influential Kashmiri expatriates in the USA, the erstwhile Budgam resident Ghulam Nabi Mir aka Fai has pleaded guilty of working illegally for ISI.
He has accepted the FBI charges before the District Court Judge Liam O’Grady of US Eastern District Court of Virginia on December 7. The FBI accused him of being an illegal lobbyist who accepted $ 3.5 millions from Pakistan and used these funds to influence policy makers in Washington. This has led to a revenue loss of $ 200 to $ 400 thousands to US kitty.
Federal US Government Attorney and Fai signed a 26-page State of Fact document, which reports suggest, offer details of his contacts, transactions and activities in Pakistani spy agency ISI. By signing the agreement, Fai has agreed of having been a front group for the Pakistani intelligence services.
Fai faces up to eight years in prison – five years for the conspiracy and three for the tax violation. The sentence hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2012. Reports suggest Fai, 62, has consented to forfeit all four bank accounts in his name or in the name of Kashmir American Council that he was heading totalling about $ 140,000.
After Islamabad denied having a relationship with him, the FBI prosecutors had dropped a charge that Fai had acted as the agent of a foreign government without registering with the Justice Department.
His lawyer Nina Ginsberg was quoted saying that Fai has acknowledged receiving funds from officials who were agents of the ISI, or at least purported to be, but maintained that that funding “never affected the work that he did or the message that he put out.”
In his personal statement Fai has regretted the “personal mistake” saying he “never compromised our goals of independence and self-determination for the Kashmiri.”
Kashmir Watch, a website that posted Fai’s statement to the court that suggested Fai saying that his team had kept the communication channels with all the stakeholders open. Claiming meetings with “various Indian Cabinet Ministers” belonging to the administrations of Prime Ministers Chandra Shekhar, P V Narasimha Rao, Atal Behari Vajpayee and even Dr Manmohan Singh, Fai has stated that during last 11 years.
“Whenever we had a seminar or a conference on Kashmir, I would invite the Indian ambassador to speak. I had a habit of exchanging information and establishing the details in advance with an official of the embassy… An Indian official called me either on July 18 or July 19, 2011, the day I was arrested. He left a voicemail that we must meet, which I heard ten days later after my release.”