A man who ran a Kashmiri lobbying effort directed and funded by the Pakistani government still can advocate for his cause, but cannot have any contact with Pakistan's government or its intelligence service, the ISI.
A recent amended judgment clarifies conditions of supervised release for Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax violations in December 2011. Fai served as director of the Kashmir American Council, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group that advocates self-determination for the disputed region.
That campaign was funded and directed by Pakistan's powerful military intelligence service, the ISI, an affidavit in Fai's original complaint said. The ISI contributed $3.5 million that Fai used for "campaign contributions to members of Congress" and public relations efforts through a network of straw donors.
Originally, the court prohibited Fai from communicating with co-conspirators who helped him in previous crime. Now, that restriction extends to "contact with any agent, employee, or representative of the ISI or the Government of Pakistan or any individual that the defendant has identified to the FBI as supported by or in regular contact with the Government of Pakistan."
Prosecutors asked for the change, noting that Fai "has admitted that he has every intention of continuing to meet with persons involved with Pakistan's intelligence service." In court filings, Fai indicated his renewed advocacy would extend to "officials of Pakistan, members of the Kashmiri resistance, and representatives of major think tanks who are in contact with the Pakistani government..."
Fai resumed advocating the cause of an Azad ("Free") Kashmir immediately after completing a two-year prison sentence. In February, he was a featured speaker at an event organized by the Kashmir Forum. Sponsors included the KAC, leading Kashmiri separatist groups, and the People's Party of Pakistan. Asad Choudhary, a member of Pakistan's ruling Muslim League (PMLN) party spoke in support of freedom for the Kashmiris. "[W]e feel honored to help our brethren in Jammu & Kashmir. We believe that it is only fair that the Kashmir dispute must be decided in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions. We must accept whatever the people of Kashmir decide," Choudhary said.
Fai was also a keynote speaker at a seminar, Kashmir: A Reminder to the American Policy Makers," last month in Fremont, Cal. Highlights from the event were broadcast in a newsletter sent from Fai's personal e-mail account (NewsLetter@gnfai.com) on March 30. Representatives from leading Islamist groups in the U.S., including the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) participated. Fai said "that the sentiments of the people of Kashmir are for Azadi ["Freedom"]."