Much before the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, senior separatist leader Hashim Qureshi had exposed his alleged links with Pakistan’s ISI in 1995.
Fai, a US citizen was arrested on July 19 for allegedly channelling funds from Pakistan to influence policies against Kashmir for more than two decades.
In his book 'Kashmir: The Unveiling of Truth', published in 1995, Qureshi wrote that Fai and Ayub Thakur (now dead) were at the forefront of fund raising campaigns for the Jamaat-e-Islami and its militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) in the US and the UK respectively.
Qureshi shot to international limelight at the age of 17 when he and his cousin Ashraf hijacked an Indian Airlines plane — also known as Fokker Friendship plane and Ganga aircraft — to Lahore on January 30, 1971. Qureshi returned to India from Netherlands on December 29, 2000 after being in exile for almost 30 years.
In the book, Qureshi alleged the money was collected in the US and UK for relief work in Kashmir, particularly reconstruction of the Chrar-e-Sharief shrine. The shrine was gutted in an exchange of fire between the security forces and the HM militants on May 11, 1995.
"The organisations (run by Fai and Thakur) gave full page advertisements in newspapers with circulation among Muslims in these countries. These advertisements are placed specially during the holy month of Ramzan to help the needy in Kashmir.
But most of it went into the clandestine accounts of Jamaat-e-Islami to fund HM. Leaders of other militant outfits based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir also benefited," he said.