JKCHR – Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights

NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations

Established in 1984


“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Monday, 02 Apr 2012


Fai’s sentence

Sunday, 01 Apr 2012 at 11:09


A trial by the Grand Jury would have brought into debate our ‘legend’, our ‘song and story

Dr Syed Nazir Gilani

It is over 60 years since Dr Frank P Graham (US Senator) became UN representative for India and Pakistan in Kashmir dispute and in his report to the UN Security Council in January 1952 praised the people of Kashmir as “people of legend, song and story, associated with snow-capped mountains, beautiful valleys and life-giving waters”.

He said, “The plebiscite would keep the promise made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are worthy of the right of their own self-determination through a free, secure and impartial plebiscite”.

It is exactly 60 years after that praise that Judge Liam O'Grady of a court in Alexandria, Virginia, Washington DC sentenced Fai an American of Kashmiri origin to 24 months jail term, which will be followed by three years of supervised release. The judge also asked Fai not to maintain any contact with the officials and agents of the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistani intelligence agency –ISI. While sentencing Fai the judge stated, "You participated in a conspiracy to defraud US and completely deceive the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). You knew Pakistan and the ISI was paying you in a manner because your actions would be consistent with theirs and you would represent their voice and you were willing to do so."

The character of Kashmiri rights movement took another hard battering when Neil H MacBride, United States Attorney and party to the Plea Agreement entered into by Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai on July 12, 2011 made a serious allegation against Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar FarooqRegardless of everything else, there is still a case to be answered by all those who had been part of this project run in the name of Kashmir. Fai has honestly summed up his remorse stating before the court, “Words possibly can't define the damage that I have done to my beautiful family and friends in US and the damage that I have done to the Kashmir cause."  Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has to explain the wisdom of his role in this dollar project and the sting of the allegation made by the US Attorney. One would not squabble with him on the manner of any support from ISI (or any other source) but there would a serious question on the allegation that he has given in to the ISI ‘control’. His close and overwhelming affinity with the discredited three Kashmir Centres adds to the allegation made by the US Attorney.

Mirwaiz has to explain his position in regard to item 7 of the FBI affidavit filed in the Criminal Complaint against Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, which states, “The Kashmiri American Council (KAC) is a non-governmental organisation located at 1111 16th Street, Suite 420, in Washington, DC. The KAC was founded in 1990 and also goes by the name “Kashmir Center.” It is one of the three “Kashmir Centers” that this investigation revealed are run by the elements of the Government of Pakistan (ISI); the others are the Justice Foundation/Kashmir Center located in London, England run by Nazir Ahmad Shawl, and the Kashmir Center-European Union, located in Brussels, Belgium, and run by Abdul Majeed Tramboo.” Mirwaiz has to do more to clear his position in respect of the allegation made by US Attorney, than just issuing a statement of condemnation. We would not mind any support from the Government of Pakistan as a member nation of UN and as a party to Kashmir dispute. However, if the role of Mirwaiz has been one akin to that of Fai, it raises the principal issue of his ability as a leader who is able to keep and discharge the trust of his people.

The sentencing of Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai is a sad affair and those who have tried to celebrate the reduced sentence have made a serious error of judgement. To an extent the reduced sentence may sit well with our psychology, yet the case embeds many serious questions which need answers. The first and foremost is that Fai chose to remain on the wrong side of the jurisprudence of Kashmir case and Kashmiri people and decided to offer himself to the ‘elements in the government of Pakistan’, to deflect attention from Pakistan over on to India. He did not realise that the death of a generation would mean the death of self-determination for a long time to come.

The other important question which has to be debated in public, are the three people, named Confidential Witness 1 (CW-1), Confidential Witness 2 (CW-2) and Mr John (an officer in one of the three Centers), who have helped the FBI agents to prepare a 44 page criminal complaint against Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai. Para 125 of the Criminal Complaint records, “On January 23, 2011 Fai had a conversation with an individual to whom I will refer as “John” who serves as an officer of a Kashmiri organization…During his conversation with Fai, John complained about Nazir Shawl (Fai’s Government of Pakistan-controlled counterpart in the UK) and threatened to expose “everything and everybody. He ended by saying that he was prepared to go to the Indian Embassy to beg forgiveness for his previous activities, even if doing so displeased his Pakistani bosses.” These people have not only remained beneficiaries in a multi-million dollar project but at the same time have shopped Fai to the US authorities.

It is without merit that Fai has been singled out by US authorities to snub ISI. The judge in his statement, “I do not think you are ready to believe that by your acts you did a great harm to the US, you ignored that even after FBI brought this to your notice," has clearly pointed out that Fai had been contacted by FBI to reconsider his position as a lobbyist.
Fai could have turned his arrest and the facts of his case into a full blown advantage for the people of Kashmir. A quick rush to enter into a Plea Agreement has hurt our national pride and remains to be explained. If he had done nothing wrong, the Grand Jury Trial would have been the best opportunity to raise awareness and interest of the people in the Rights Movement of the people of Kashmir.

The manner in which Fai agreed to waive indictment and plead guilty, is uncharacteristic of a ‘freedom fighter.’ Fai has knowingly agreed to waive the right to appeal, agreed to payment of penalties, restitution for the full amount of the victim’s losses and his agreement to ‘provide all documents, records, writings, or materials of any kind in his possession or under his care, custody, or control relating directly or indirectly to all areas of inquiry and investigation’, does not make him a beloved of the suffering people of Kashmir. The decision to forfeit a total cash of US $ 142851.32 held in five accounts points to the potential abuse of funds secured for Kashmir cause.

Our people duly described as “people of legend, song and story” have played no role in the actions which have caused Judge Liam O'Grady to state before announcing the verdict, “You knew Pakistan and the ISI was paying you in a manner because your actions would be consistent with theirs and you would represent their voice and you were willing to do so."
The judge also said: "He (Fai) clearly knew, he is being paid... Pakistan has lost wars with India on Kashmir and so Pakistan is looking for other means to achieve its objectives." A trial by the Grand Jury would have brought into debate our ‘legend’, our ‘song and story’. We would have known the identity of CW-1, CW-2 and Mr. John in charge of multi-million projects and thriving at our suffering. It would have shamed those in authority in Islamabad who had expressed their taste to Fai to be introduced to “Mary” (Para 126 of the FBI Affidavit).

Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. He can be mailed at dr-nazirgilani@jkchr.com



Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

Secretary General - JKCHR



FREEPOST, P.O. BOX 241, London SW17 9LJ (UK)


t: 020 8651 0600      f: 020 8651 0071      e: dr-nazirgilani@jkchr.com      www.jkchr.com


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