A campaign aide of United States Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was a registered lobbyist for a group identified as a front for Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence, reported Yahoo News. Paul Manafort (pictured above) had lobbied for a Washington-based group, the Kashmiri American Council, in the 1990s, according to the United States Justice Department. However, he was never charged. He is the chief delegate counter and strategist for Trump's campaign.
The information surfaced during a counter-terrorism probe undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2011. Following the revelation, Council Director Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai was charged with tax frauds and conspiracy to secretly influence US policy toward the disputed territory of Kashmir in the garb of an NGO. He was sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty.
Fai received more than $4 million from the Pakistani intelligence agency over 20 years, according to federal prosecutors. He collected the money from “straw” American donors, and later reimbursed the money through secret accounts in Pakistan. Of this, Manafort’s lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, received $700,000 from the Council between 1990 and 1995.
Beside ISI, Manafort has also been associated with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Zaire’s dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the decades. The 67-year-old was not allowed to manage the Republican National Convention in 2008 because of his controversial connections.