American-Pakistani relations slumped further downhill yesterday with the arrest of a Washington-based lobbyist accused of being in the pay of Pakistan's spy agency. Federal investigators say Pakistan spent millions of dollars attempting to influence American policy on the disputed territory of Kashmir with campaign donations to members of Congress and presidential candidates, reports the New York Times.
Syed Fai, a US citizen who heads the Kashmiri American Council lobbying group, has been charged with being an unregistered agent of a foreign government. Fai is accused of a "decades-long scheme with one purpose—to hide Pakistan’s involvement behind his efforts to influence the US government’s position on Kashmir," said a US attorney. In some circles, Fai's arrest is likely to be seen as a reprisal for Pakistan's arrest of a doctor involved in the phony vaccination scheme the CIA created to track down Osama bin Laden, the Guardian notes. (Read more ISI stories.)