Original Articles

Sayana Kawwa …. Khaye?

Ghulam Nabi Fai has been arrested in Washington for collaborating with the Pakistan’s once invincible Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for funneling money of around US$ 4 million to influence United States policy on Kashmir. The reasons for his arrest seem to be his denial that he was in touch with ISI (more than 4000 telephone calls with his handlers in the ISI during the last three years) and that he failed to disclose that Pakistan was behind the creation of his organization, the Kashmiri-American Council (KAC). I do not know who the gentleman is, what his organization did or what the organization achieved ever since its creation; however, his arrest shows a continuous decline in the US-Pakistan relationship. And why shouldn’t there be a decline in the relationship? If 2011 was a “slide” on which US-Pakistan relations were to be seen, then it seems the bottom has not yet been reached. The slide only gets fastest  as  it reaches the base!


The Raymond Davis saga and the duplicity of our state apparatus on various fronts, it seems, has made the Americans realize one thing: Pakistan cannot be trusted! They also know who handles everything in the foreign policy and security issues and those are the people the Americans just don’t want to trust anymore. The way Raymond Davis saga unfolded with a mindless jingoistic campaign against the US, where the Army and ISI, utilized all its pawns in an extremely efficient manner to get their upper hand, has only worked against the all-knowing Army and ISI. While the ISI was firstly able to get a case, in which Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha was a respondent in the US, thrown in the backburner, the subsequent events of Osama Bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad, attack on PNS Mehran (where the armed forces inefficiency was exposed yet again) and then stopping the US$ 800 million due on account of Coalition Support Fund have just shown how Pakistan has been made to fall in the eyes of its ally. A few times, Gen. Pasha has traveled to the US for meetings which only Pasha and his people know the outcome of. Whenever he went there, there were statements and columns in our right wing media that Pakistan doesn’t need the US and that we can survive without their aid.


In my opinion, the arrest of Ghulam Nabi Fai shows the continuous distrust Pakistan and its security apparatus is enjoying. Ghulam Nabi Fai has in affidavits claimed that his “KAC or I have never had written or oral agreements with Pakistan or any other foreign entity”. The disclosure that more than US$ 4 million has been spent on behalf of ISI in the US and that Ghulam Nabi Fai has been in contact with his handlers for around 4000 times since 2008 are enough to prosecute him as it constitutes lying under oath.  To many Pakistanis it may not mean something big, but lying under oath is a major offence the world over.


How Fai is prosecuted, remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, that our all knowing and over smart ISI has been made to eat humble pie yet again. Trust me, it won’t be the last time that such a thing will happen. Over smart and over confident people falter and ISI is one such agency full of hot air. The Urdu proverb of “Sayyana Kawwa Guu Khaye” is most appropriate for our ISI and it seems that this will continue for some time. The only way this can end would be ISI giving up its role of “looking both ways” and accepting their follies. It is never too late for a fresh start!

Kashmiri lobbyist arrested for withholding information

By Huma Imtiaz

Published: July 20, 2011

WASHINGTON: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a 62-year-old US citizen, Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, who is accused by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) of 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, who is director of Washington-based NGO Kashmiri American Council (KAC), was arrested on Tuesday morning and is a resident of Fairfax, Virginia. The DoJ, in its statement to the press, said that Fai had violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara), and conspired to “falsify, conceal, and cover up material facts he had a duty to disclose in matters within the jurisdiction of Executive Branch agencies of the US government.”

According to witnesses mentioned in an affidavit prepared by the FBI, Fai received thousands of dollars for the KAC over the last two decades. A witness has been quoted as saying that the “ISI created the KAC to propagandise on behalf of the government of Pakistan with the goal of uniting Kashmir”. The witness also alleged that the ISI has maintained links with Fai for the last 25 years, mentioning a retired brigadier general of the Pakistan Army called “Brigadier Javeed Aziz”, with the nicknames Rathore and Abdullah.

The affidavit also highlights Fai’s response to the DoJ when he was questioned about the KAC last year: “KAC or I have never had written or oral agreements with Pakistan or any other foreign entity.”

Another accused in the case, Zaheer Ahmed, is allegedly at large and according to the DoJ, is believed to be in Pakistan.

The DoJ has accused Fai of receiving up to $4 million from Ahmed and his “network” for KAC, and has been in contact with his handlers over 4,000 times since 2008. According to Neil MacBride, US Attorney for District of Eastern Virginia, “Fai is accused of a decades-long scheme with one purpose – to hide Pakistan’s involvement behind his efforts to influence the US government’s position on Kashmir. His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funneled millions through the Kashmir Center to contribute to US elected officials, fund high-profile conferences, and pay for other efforts that promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington.”

If found guilty, Ahmed and Fai could face up to five years in prison.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Embassy in Washington said that Fai is “not a Pakistani citizen and the government and embassy of Pakistan have no knowledge of the case involving him.”

The affidavit outlines statements from witnesses detailing transactions where money is referred to in code as “Brylcreem”, correspondence between Ahmed and Fai about KAC and the involvement of alleged ISI representatives. In another instance, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency headquarters is referred to as “the library in Islamabad”.

According to the FBI affidavit, KAC has two branches in London and Brussels. The FBI says that the KAC describes itself as an “NGO dedicated to raising the level of knowledge in the US about the struggle of the Kashmiri people for self-determination.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.


About the author

Ahmed Iqbalabadi


Click here to post a comment
  • In my opinion, ISI reached this notorious status because of S-wing Jihadi retires. These people plan filthy & deadly operations and pursue so as to keep the funds flowing to them. They have no concern on future of the country because they got nothing more to gain from government. Peace in both Pakistan-Afghan achievable only after the dismantle of ISI in Pakistan.

  • So true, KMR Overseas, but dismantling the agency is not the solution. One needs them to come out openly for the ills they have committed. This can only be done with a truth and reconciliation commission.

  • Both KMR and Ahmed Iqbalabadi are Hindus under guise. A question to you both “dismantle ISI” and substitute it with RAW, Mossad or CIA?

  • Pakistnis should flood blogs, read comment column, with videos, articles, documentaries exposing Jewish and Indian lobbey (Indian sponsorship of Hillary Clinton’s campaign). USS Liberty, Lavon Affair, Israeli espionage in US, selling state secrets to ex USSR, China, AIPAC and it’s control over congress.

  • @ Molvi
    Media should expose unlawful acts of all and I welcome it.
    This doesn’t mean ISI hatched assassination of Benazir shouldn’t be sweep under the carpet. So do ISI’s Mumbai bombings. Jihadi face of ISI should be exposed to the world community.

  • @ Molvi
    Media should expose unlawful acts of all and I welcome it.
    This doesn’t mean ISI hatched assassination of Benazir should be sweep under the carpet. So do ISI’s Mumbai bombings using Jihadi Kassab & gang. Time has come to unmask the Jihadi face of ISI infront of the world community.
    (corrected the earlier comment)

  • Molvi Sahab,

    Anyone who criticizes the ISI, he is a Hindu? If that is the case, anyone who claims that Taliban are muslims, then they are all terrorists!

  • A troll should always be ignored.

    My question to the author is: you state that the US lost trust In Pak, why the US is more important and why can’t you say that both sides don’t trust each other any more. As an aside, most countries in world dont trust the US, does that mean that the US dismantle its intelligence agencies and come clean about the mess the US agencies have created around the world? I am still not following some folks argument that in order to oppose the army and the ISI in Pakistan, one has to be a US supporter. Fai had strong links with the Pak establishment but the us waited until, the ISI grabbed some supporters of the US agencies Pakistan. To me this appears to be more a case of setting up a swap of spies rather than some ethical issue between the US and Pakistan.

    If you look around the world the US agencies have committed more heinous crimes than any other agency in the world. ISI does not even has a fraction of US intelligence budget…in fact the ISI budget comes from the US military aid to Pakistan. Maligning just the ISI and not US role in Pakistan, unfortunately is not the right way to approach problems between the two countries.

  • Another interesting angle of this saga is that the Army’s rep in Wash, DC, who happens to be a brother of a former COAS has not been arrested yet. Why not him who is directly linked with lobbying for the army?

  • Dear Hoss,
    You have missed the point: Ghulam Nabi Fai has not been arrested for supporting a cause, but that he lied under oath in an affidavit that there are no links with any foreign organization like the ISI!!! Had he said yes, there are links and then he was arrested, then the US would have been wrong.
    We in Pakistan feel that it is our birth right to break a law. As I said “Sayyana Kawwa”, ISI thinks they can get away with any thing. They contacted the guy 4000 times on telephone over 3 years!! Iss say zyada kya bewaqoofi ho sakti hay???

  • How do you know he lied? Right now it is alleged that he lied. I am not saying that he did not have links with Pak Government, which no doubt that he did and there was no secret about it.
    The person I mentioned in my post above, the brother of a former COAS has more elaborated links with the Pak army-He wrote a book on the Pak army which was finance by the army. He can be found posting on Huffington Post and on TPM cafe during the Musharraf regime on a consist basis pleading for more Aid for the Pak army. I confronted him on TPM cafe couple of times and wrote a letter to Josh, the owner of the site and he has not been seen there since. I think he still posts on Huffington Post posing a democrat. He is also “employed” by a think tank which purportedly had no links with Pakistan but since the guy’s only qualification is his links with army, its clear that he was planted in the think tank with someone’s blessing.
    Fai was running a lobbying group for a long time and his ties must be known to the US intelligence. Lastly, please don’t even assume that the Pakistan operators don’t know about the US foreign agent representation laws. They know how to go around it.

  • This is counter-action by US as Pakistan is not releasing Dr. Shakeel, which US was demanding. So it hit the most sensitive part of our foreign policy…..It is a threat that either hand over Dr. Shakeel to us or forget our (US) possible role on Kashmir issue…….

    This is the case according to my understanding……Lets see how ISI response???