In this photograph taken on May 24, 2011, US citizen Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, talks during the International Kashmir Conference in Muzaffarabad. – Photo by AFP

WASHINGTON: A US judge on Friday gave an American of Kashmiri origin a two-year prison sentence after he admitted secretly receiving millions of dollars from Pakistan and its spy service while lobbying in the United States.          

Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, a naturalised US citizen, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy and tax violations dating back to 1990 for a scheme to conceal some $3.5 million that came from Pakistan to fund his lobbying efforts over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

US District Judge Liam O'Grady in Alexandria, Virginia, handed down the prison sentence for Fai, to be followed by three years of probation. Prosecutors had urged the judge to sentence him to four years in prison while Fai argued he should be sentenced to home confinement.

Fai served as the executive director of the Kashmiri American Council, which described itself as a nonprofit organisation run by Kashmiris and funded by Americans.

But US authorities have said some of the money came from Pakistan's intelligence service, known as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and that he failed to register as an agent of a foreign government as required under US law.

Prosecutors said Fai tried to draw the attention of US officials to India's actions in the disputed territory of Kashmir and away from Pakistan's own actions in the divided mountain area. The two nations have fought two wars over it.

“Syed Fai is today being held accountable for his role in a decades-long scheme to conceal the fact that the government of Pakistan was secretly funding his efforts to influence US policy on Kashmir,” said Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco,

head of the Justice Department's National Security Division.

The Pakistani government has denied any knowledge of Fai's activities.


Hoping for miracles
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Hoping for miracles

Pakistan will be exposed to international recrimination if the Taliban revert to their old ways.


Updated 26 Sep 2021

Intransigent Taliban

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has delivered an effective speech at the UN General Assembly session detailing the salient...
26 Sep 2021

Deadly misinformation

THE distinction between ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ news is now a concept impossible to escape. In an...
26 Sep 2021

Covid arrests

THE unilateral decision taken by Karachi’s East Zone police to arrest citizens without Covid vaccination cards ...
25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...