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Kashmir centre funded UK MPs' Pak trip

world Updated: Aug 03, 2011 01:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
London

A London Kashmir centre connected to Ghulam Nabi Fai helped pay for a trip to Pakistan by two British members of parliament — a third paid his costs — and a member of the House of Lords, The Times newspaper reported.

Fai, the Kashmir lobbyist who has been arrested in the US for his alleged links with the Pakistani spy agency ISI, is one of two directors of the London-based Justice Foundation Kashmir Centre, the paper said.

Fai is managing director.

American prosecutors say Kashmir centres in the US, London and Brussels are "run by elements of the Pakistani government, including ISI."

The Times said that in March this year, the Justice Foundation helped fund a trip to Pakistan by Lord Nazir Ahmed of the Labour party, and two MPs — Simon Danczuk (Labour) and Andrew Griffiths (Conservative). Roger Harrington, a Conservative MP, paid his own costs.

The trip was organised by Lord Ahmed, vice-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Kashmir. All three MPs represent constituencies with large Pakistani communities, and are members of the group. The Times said, "There is no suggestion that they were aware of the centre’s alleged links to the ISI or have acted improperly in any way."

A spokesman for Danczuk told the paper, "Simon has a large Kashmiri population in his constituency. He did not know anything about the Kashmir Centre and had no idea that it was allegedly funded by the ISI." Lord Ahmed said he did not know Fai was connected with the London centre, which he had assumed was a charity.