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To conceal its involvement in influencing American policy towards the plebiscite goal, the Pakistan’s government set up a group of “straw donors,” who gave money to the Kashmiri Center and American politicians on its behalf. The Pakistanis also paid tens of thousands of dollars to the British politician George Galloway for his assistance.
“The goal of the group, according to internal documents cited by the FBI, was to persuade the United States government that it was in its interest to push India to allow a vote in Kashmir to decide its future,” the New York Times stated. “The group’s strategy was to offset the Indian lobby by targeting members of the Congressional committees that focus on foreign affairs with private briefings and events that would draw media attention and otherwise to elevate the issue of Kashmir…in Washington.”
Although politicians of both parties received these illicit funds, with President Obama even having received a $250 campaign donation, Dan Burton, a Republican representative from Indiana, appears to have benefited the most, according to a search the New York Times did in the Federal Elections Databases. Called “a champion of Kashmiri causes” in Congress and an “inveterate critic” of India, this largesse, Burton’s detractors believe, is the reason for his pro-Pakistani stance. Burton was at one time also supportive of an independent Sikh state carved from India, which would have meant India’s virtual dismemberment. He also once sought a 25 percent cut in aid to India for its poor human rights record.
The other big recipient of the ISI-sponsored donations was the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Unsurprisingly, according to a profile of Fai, he is a “Distinguished Member of the Republican Senatorial Inner Circle” and was awarded the “Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom in 2005.
“On October 12, 2007, he was presented with the American Spirit Medal, the highest and most prestigious honour given to an individual,” the profile reads, adding Fai’s articles have appeared in some of America’s most prestigious newspapers, such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
Not bad for a Pakistani government agent who, according to the FBI, has been active the past 25 years and met undetected “more than 4,000 times” with his handlers since June, 2008. An informant familiar with the scheme was responsible for bringing it to a halt.
This affair of the illegal donations raises questions that should cause the US government to stop and take stock of both itself and the Pakistani military. The most obvious is how this “long-term conspiracy,” as the FBI calls it, could have remained undetected for so long. Another is how someone representing a jihadist strategy that would weaken India, an American ally, could have reached right into the Senate. Fai would not have received those senatorial awards for nothing. And lastly, how many other governments are attempting to illegally buy influence in Congress through this system of what has been called “legalised bribery.”
With the bin Laden affair, the Pakistani military proved it is no ally of the United States. It contemptuously concealed the terrorist leader, while cynically extracting billions of dollars in American aid and modern weapons. It has allowed Pakistan to become the headquarters for worldwide jihad and with these recent charges concerning illegal donations it confirms once again that nothing Pakistan does in regard to America can be trusted. In the future, all relations with this country should proceed from this premise.
Stephen Brown is the contributing editor for Frontpagemag.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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