Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq last week met jailed Kashmiri lobbyist Ghulam Nabi Fai in the US, two months after the latter was arrested for receiving money “illegally” from Pakistan’s ISI.
When contacted on the phone, the Mirwaiz, who is in New York, said: “Yes, I had specially gone to Washington DC to meet him. Fai had spoken to his lawyer, who said it was all right.”
Sources told Hindustan Times the Mirwaiz, who attended the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting of the Jammu and Kashmir contact group on September 21 in New York, left the venue despite a busy schedule to fly to Fai’s residence in Fairfax, Virginia – close to Washington DC.Fai (62) was arrested in the third week of July this year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of receiving $4 million illegally from the ISI to tilt the opinion of US Congressmen in favour of the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
The US trial court later put Fai under house arrest till the final judicial pronouncement. Sources said the Mirwaiz had to negotiate with the FBI and approach Fai’s lawyer to ensure legal entry into his house.
He was there for several hours before flying back to New York to attend the annual coordination meeting of the foreign ministers of the OIC member states.
The Mirwaiz and Fai discussed Kashmir and Palestine during the meeting. “We were excited about Palestine’s bid for the United Nations. It will surely have a big impact on other issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat leader also met Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas. “I congratulated him (Abbas),” said the Mirwaiz.
Abbas attended the OIC session, where two resolutions, one on Palestine and the other one on Kashmir, were passed. “He (Abbas) is surely supportive of our cause,” the Mirwaiz said.