US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s maiden visit to Pakistan has sparked interesting reactions from the US and India. Currently, Ilhan Omar is on a 4-day visit to Pakistan till the 24th of April.
Important to note, on her first day in Pakistan, Ilhan Omar met former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting became rather controversial due to Imran Khan’s claims of a US-backed foreign conspiracy against him.
Moreover, Imran Khan has a very strong and hardline view on private interactions between Pakistani politicians and US officials.
Nevertheless, Ilhan Omar met the PTI Chairman since the two leaders have significantly raised their voices over the indiscrimination of Muslims and rising Islamophobia.
US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price distanced the Joe Biden-led administration from Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s visit to Pakistan. The senior official made a statement during a press briefing today in response to a question from a journalist.
“Well, as I understand it, Representative Omar is not visiting Pakistan on US government-sponsored travel, so I’d need to refer you to her office for questions on her travel,” Price replied.
While the US distanced itself from Ilhan Omar’s visit, India took a much harsher stance and slammed the US Congresswoman.
India condemns Ilhan Omar’s visit to IIOJK
During her stay, Ilhan Omar has met several important figures, including President Dr. Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, and Foreign Office officials.
Moreover, she also visited Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), where she acknowledged that the Kashmir dispute was not being talked about in the power centers of the US at the required level. Pertinent to mention, Ilhan Omar has also been very critical of the ongoing onslaught of Indian armed forces in Kashmir.
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar visited Azad (free) #Kashmir today & heard on ground accounts of #Kashmiri families living freely & proudly along the LOC on Pakistani side & continually suffering cross border shelling by Indian occupation forces stationed in Indian occupied #Kashmir. pic.twitter.com/ruZ3sKbeWy
— Malik Khurram Khan Dehwar (@KhurramDehwar) April 21, 2022
Reacting to her visit to IIOJK, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson said it is condemnable.
“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,” the ministry said.
"If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home, that may be her business. But violating our territorial integrity and sovereignty in its pursuit makes it ours. This visit is condemnable," MEA on visit of US congresswoman Ilhan Omar @Ilhan to PoK https://t.co/YzsRqVizlU
— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) April 21, 2022