New Delhi, April 21
US Congresswoman Ilham Omar’s trip to Pakistan has landed her in controversies both within the country she is visiting as well as India which has called her travelling to the Line of Control (LOC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “condemnable’’.
This was the first US delegation to PoK in three years.
“She visited a part of J&K currently illegally occupied by Pakistan. If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home that may be her business, but violating our territorial integrity in its pursuit makes this ours. Condemnable,’’ said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi when asked to react to her visit to PoK.
Landing in PoK on Thursday, Omar said at a press conference that the US administration and the Congress is not talking as much as needed about human rights violations in Jammu & Kashmir and the effects of the Modi administration’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. “The condemnations and concerns of those who fight for human rights and the question of Kashmir will be included in future hearings within the USA,’’ Omar assured after meeting PoK President Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry.
Omar has been hawkish on J & K after the repeal of Article 370 and has repeatedly called for de-escalation in Kashmir and permission to international organisations to fully document what is happening on the ground.
While Omar gladdened some hearts, her meeting with former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan became a domestic controversy. Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah questioned Khan’s meeting with Omar and asked, “was the meeting with the American Congresswoman part of a conspiracy or was it interference?’’
Omar is on a four-day visit to Pakistan from April 20 to 24 and has also met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Arif Alvi.
“Which US conspiracy did you discuss with Ilhan Omar?’’ asked the Minister and said that if Khan does not come clean before the nation regarding his meeting, the government will initiate a probe into it.
“The nation deserves to know the truth. Otherwise, Imran Niazi, following his tradition, might bring forth another letter in a few days,’’ added Sanaullah.
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