Fai funded separatists, ultras with hawala money

Fai funded separatists, ultras with hawala money

31 March 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Kashmiri separatist Dr Sayyid Ghulam Nabi Fai, who headed Kashmir American Council (KAC) and was sentenced to two years imprisonment by a Virginia court in the United States yesterday, had been instrumental in funding various terrorist organisations and over ground supporters of the militants in the Kashmir Valley. According to highly placed police sources here, though Fai had migrated to the United States in eighties, he remained active in Jammu and Kashmir through his agents in separatist organisations, militants outfits and some individuals, who, openly or covertly, espoused the cause of militancy in the Valley. 'The list of beneficiaries of funding from Fai's KAC were a number of people in Kashmir, ranging from so-called intellectuals to separatists and militant outfits. Police and Intelligence agencies in the State were aware of many such persons, who had been funded by the KAC', sources said. They added that list of Fai's contacts in the State was not confined to Kashmir Valley but there were many supporters of militancy in Jammu region also, who benefitted from KAC Director's funding and other hospitality. Fai had sponsored visits of many persons from Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi to America and offered them hospitality for several days. Sources said a number of separatist leaders and militant commanders, arrested from time to time in various parts of the State during past two decades, had named Fai as their sponsor. Police and Intelligence agencies had briefed the Union Government about the disclosures of separatists pertaining to involvement of Fai in fanning militancy in the State. 'A number of prominent separatist leaders were on paid list of Fai. They got huge funds, directly or indirectly at the behest of Fai. A part of this fund was diverted to militants', they added. Documents available with security agencies revealed that Delhi Police had picked up an Uttar Pradesh resident, Shahabuddin Gouri, who was linked to Fai and associates, from a Jawahar Lal Nehru University hostel earlier. Gouri was arrested on the basis of information provided by an alleged terror money courier, Ashfaq Hussain Lone. The case was later handed over to the CBI and Enforcement Directorate. Investigations had then revealed that Gouri received around Rs 16 lakh from alleged hawala dealer Shambu Dayal on instructions from Fai and his associates. Gouri had handed over the money to Lone, who told investigators he had also spoken to Fai and Jeelani. He claimed that the money came from foreign donors, who wanted to help Kashmiris. Investigators had also come to know that Gouri had links with militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, whom he had met several times in Pakistan. Security agencies had information that many of the participants, who were invited for conference in the United States by Fai were also provided money to fund terror in Jammu and Kashmir. Some of the funds were routed through the businessmen in Kashmir. 'There had been inputs that hawala money, in addition to separatists, had been given to Hizbul Mujahideen with the motive to give militancy an 'indigenous shape'. The funds amounted to several crores, sources said, adding the mode of funds diversion was mostly the hawala money generated from Fai's agents in Saudi Arabia and other countries. In some cases, certain banking transactions had also been detected, sources said. Arrest of Fai, sources said, has brought into focus the issue of hawala and illegal transfer of money. 'These scourges have not been eradicated for the simple reason that politically and socially influential individuals are involved in it. The Government has to put down its foot and clean sweep the deck. Militancy in Kashmir is fed by hawala, which was well known to all security and Intelligence agencies besides the Union and the State Government', they added. Fai, who was arrested in July last from his residence in the outskirts of Washington by the FBI and charged with not declaring income from unknown source and evading tax dues of Internal Revenue Service (IRS), was one of the first three Jamaat-i-Islami students, who had joined hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Gilani's lessons in a seminary. In mid 80s, he escaped to Pakistan and then to the US with silent support from ISI, sources said. In fact ISI established and lavishly funded (thanks to Riyadh-based Ar-Rabita) three highly motivated anti-India propaganda centers in the West headed by diehard India bashers of Kashmiri origin, Brussels centre run by Advocate Tramboo, US centre run by Fai and London Centre by Nazir Shawl. Through high profile seminars, symposia, and conference under the evocative banner line of 'Indian atrocities in Kashmir', Fai had, with the passage of time, roped in a cross section of American gentry that included lawmakers, media persons, social activists, jurists, academia, political activists and policy planners with the sole purpose of misleading them and manipulating their opinion. Defence counsel had yesterday said in the Virginia court that at least 53 individuals, all beneficiaries of his largesse, had in their letters to the District Judge, urged him to give Fai lighter sentence. Included among them were Mirwaiz Moulavi Farooq of moderate Hurriyat Conference, Ved Bhasin of Kashmir Times, Prof. Hamida Banoo of Kashmir University, Rajmohan Gandhi and Gautam Navlakha. Obviously all of them and scores more have been the beneficiaries of Fai's largesse and some of them were invited more than once over the years to the United States for attending seminars. Worthwhile to mention here that the US Attorney had claimed before the court that separatist Kashmir leader and chairperson of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was 'supported and controlled by ISI'. 'The plethora of facts that have come to light in the course of prosecution, and confessions of Fai of having received a hefty sum of 3.5 million US dollars from ISI for manipulating anti-India and pro-Pakistan Kashmir propaganda gave a lie to the much orchestrated 'azaadi' slogan of Kashmir separatists and their acohorts. A dispassionate assessment of these facts revealed that the slogan of 'azaadi' has been a mask behind which a massive campaign for Kashmiris annexation to Pakistan was being planned', sources said. They added that Pakistan's oft-repeated claim of giving only moral and diplomatic support to the separatists in Kashmir has been torn to shreds by its own point-man. 'Who are the beneficiaries of this massive conspiracy against Kashmiris and who the victims are? This question has come up in full force and Kashmir political circles are at a loss to explain to the new generation what the ulterior motive of Pakistan's 'Kashmir cause' can be and who are its victims? By sidetracking the fact that Pakistan and its ISI are the real source of decimation of nearly a hundred thousand Kashmiris (killed, wounded, disappeared or vandalized) separatist leadership has put itself in a desperately mortifying situation. They cannot escape the responsibility of being the source of destruction of life, property and peace in Kashmir', sources observed. They pointed out that with the judgment coming from American court of law, Pakistan and ISI both stood exposed in the eyes of international community which, obviously, will have full sympathy with the unsuspecting people of Kashmir for being misled, misguided for six decades in the past and made fodder for the cannons of ISI. 'Separatists and their affiliates, whether in Kashmir or in the country or any other place in the world, all have been stakeholders in the industry called Kashmir issue', sources said. However, they were of the view that the serious task that remained to be accomplished was to uproot this perfidy. 'It demands drastic action against those Indian nationals, who have been accomplices in Fai's criminal conspiracy. The charge against them is that their cooperation, overt or covert, is virtual sedition against the country', sources said. In addition, sources said, they have been partners in the abetment of death of thousands of innocent Kashmiris under the rubric of 'freedom struggle'. 'The State Government has an obligation to mete out justice to the affected families by bringing the abettors of criminal acts in Kashmir to book, and hand out to them exemplary punishment', sources said. 'Hosting a variety of leading lights from intellectual segments in lavishly arranged seminars, paying them to and fro air tickets and throwing luxurious luncheons and dinners in addition to other motivation, Fai managed to fuel Pakistan's case for Kashmir, sources said, adding that the usual theme of these exercises was to spread disinformation about legal and constitutional status of India in Kashmir, and give credence to the canard of 'human rights violations' by the security forces in the Valley. In past 20 years, the Federal US agencies had intercepted some 350,000 emails and 90,000 telephone calls of Fai, according to Nina Ginsberg, Fai's Attorney fighting a District Court of Law in Virginia, USA her client's case of tax evasion, fraud and seditious activities, as per a news report of the international news agency. He has also been charged with using American soil for carrying on activities inimical to India. Prosecution Counsel produced record of Fai having received unaccounted amount of over USD 3.5 million from Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. Functioning under the cover of a fraudulent NGO called KAC, Fai was tirelessly carrying on the anti-India agenda on Kashmir set forth for him by his ISI handlers, sources said. 'Now that the Fai episode has uncovered the true face of 'azaadi movement', the Hurriyat Conference stands established as pro-Pakistan powerhouse generating sedition in the valley. The Government must swung into action and arrest all tainted persons and then prosecute them under the law dealing with treason. This will immensely encourage peace loving forces in the State. Separatists cannot be allowed to contrive enslavement of Kashmiris under the feigned slogan of azaadi', sources said.