Pakistan blasts U.S. for defaming them over agent arrest
Pakistani spy may face 5-year imprisonment if convicted
July 21, 2011 08:16 pm EDT
Politics, Espionage And Intelligence
Pakistan on Thursday blasted the U.S. for defaming its name two days after the authorities arrested a Kashmiri-born American citizen over espionage charges.
Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, is accused of acting as a Pakistani agent to boost his influence for Kashmir’s independence.
Washington has criticized Fai for failing to inform the U.S. government that he was acting as a foreign government agent. Along with Fai, another 63-year-old U.S. citizen Zaheer Ahmad, who also has Pakistan’s residency, was charged in the case.
Both the men are believed to have been working as agents of the Pakistani government, which released millions of dollars through a group called the Kashmiri American Council in a bid to influence American politicians in Washington on Kashmir’s behalf. The group is also suspected of contributing money to the election campaigns in the U.S. and efforts, including meetings with White House and state department officials.
According to U.S. Justice Department, Fai denied all charges, but if convicted, he may have to face five years behind bar. There are also rumors that the Pakistan’s military intelligence service, ISI, is running the Washington-based group.
Responding angrily to the news of Fai’s arrest and allegations against Islamabad, Pakistani Foreign Affairs Ministry said, "A demarche was made to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad today to register our concerns, in particular the slander campaign against Pakistan."
Meanwhile, FBI Assistant Director in Charge James McKunkin accused foreign countries of trying to influence the U.S. through their unregistered agents – an act that threatens the national security. The FBI has also claimed that Pakistani government had paid up to $700,000 to Fai annually.
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