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Activist gets 2 years for defrauding US

By Bloomberg News

This article was published March 30, 2012 at 12:35 p.m.

A Kashmir activist who prosecutors said aided a “decades-long” operation by Pakistan’s spy agency to influence U.S. policy was sentenced to two years in prison.

Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, 62, was sentenced today in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, after pleading guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and one count of impeding the administration of tax laws.

Fai, who faced as long as eight years in prison, sought home confinement. Prosecutors told the judge that Fai deserved four years.

Fai admitted to accepting at least $3.5 million from Pakistan’s government to fund the Washington-based Kashmiri American Council, or KAC, which worked to sway the attitudes of U.S. lawmakers on the disputed territory.

The council, which Fai headed at the time of his arrest in July, is “actually run” by elements of the Pakistani government, including the country’s military intelligence service, the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, or ISI, prosecutors said. The council’s goal is to build support for Pakistan’s interests in Kashmir and offset lobbying by India, they said.

Pakistan and India, which have split control of Kashmir since 1948, fought wars over the territory in 1965 and 1999.

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