United States Arrests Under Cover Pakistani Agent
The United States arrested this week the Kashmiri separatist leader Ghulam Nabi Fai, under the accusation of working for Inter-Services Intelligence, the Pakistani premier’s intelligence agency, in a move that is probably going to increase the tension between the two countries.
Fai is a U.S. citizen, served as the leader of Kashmir American Council in Washington, and was accused of using $4 million provided by Pakistani top intelligence agency for activities related to influencing American policies in Kashmir.
He is believed to have lobbied for Pakistan without declaring his Pakistani agent status, and to have used the money ISI has been giving him since 1995 for different purposes connected to influencing members of the Congress or other political candidates in favor of Pakistan.
FBI is said to have started the investigation on him six years ago, when it received the data from a man in prison, who released it in exchange for a judicial arrangement.
The charge against Fai is extremely rare, experts say, and involves accusations of political influence by foreign agents.
Experts believe that usually the government is inclined to cut a deal with the one accused, in this case the entire Directorate for Inter-Service Intelligence, rather than formulate public charges.
The case is also rare not by its severity, because if proven correct, these accusations of concealing Pakistani involvement behind his work to influence the U.S. decision over Kashmir could only bring him five years in prison, but by its political implications and the depth of the message it conveys.
U.S. Department of Justice denied any coincidence in timeline with the setback in the relations with Pakistan, adding that the proceedings have been going on for years and the closure was now.
However, Pakistan intelligence has been in close contact with the U.S. authorities for years since the war on terror began and Pakistan was one of the close allies in the region this war was waged.
The situation changed dramatically beginning with last year, when the first seeds of distrust were sowed by WikiLeaks, whose reports on the war on Afghanistan showed many connections between Pakistani political figures and al-Qaeda or Taliban insurgents.
The tension escalated as the United States assassinated their arch-enemy Osama bin Laden, the man who was the reason the war on terror started, in a Pakistani village. As it turned out, he had been living right under Pakistani’s security noses.
The first move the U.S. took was to cut off the financial support for Pakistani military, which in exchange triggered the response from Islamabad, as many security troops were withdrew from the border, leaving the Taliban the possibility to maneuver freely in this large space.
This week U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton visited India, Pakistan’s “sworn foe,” and demand this huge country to take action and step up and become a leader in the region.
Clinton seems to be playing India against the other countries in the region, Pakistan, China, in order to put pressure on them, considering that the relations of the U.S. with them is tense.
During her visit, Clinton promised, among other things, that the U.S. would support India’s efforts to ensure homeland security, both by providing high tech equipment and by approving decisions to be made when dealing with terrorist threat.
The largest homeland security threat to India is by far the volatile situation in the part of the province of Kashmir it administers, Jammu and Kashmir, which is also the birthplace of Ghulam Nabi Fai.11