You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Ilhan Omar on 'personal' Pakistan visit, does not portray US policy: Biden

India had on Thursday condemned Omar's visit to PoK as violative of India's territorial integrity and sovereignty and that it reflected her "narrow-minded" politics

Topics
India-Pakistan conflict | US Senate

ANI 

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

 

Washington [US], April 22 (ANI): US lawmaker Ilhan Omar's meeting with recently ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and her "unofficial, personal" visit to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) did not represent the United States government in any way, an official said on Thursday.

India had on Thursday condemned Omar's visit to PoK as violative of India's territorial integrity and sovereignty and that it reflected her "narrow-minded" .

The Democratic Congresswoman is on a four-day visit to Pakistan that began on April 20. On Wednesday, she met Imran Khan as well as visited a part of PoK.

Speaking to ANI, Derek Chollet, counselor to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said "It's an unofficial personal visit and it does not represent any policy change on behalf of the United States government."

Omar, a Somali American who belongs to President Joe Biden's Democratic Party, had after her visit to PoK said Kashmir should get more attention from the United States, which elicited stern condemnation from India.

"I don't believe that it (Kashmir) is being talked about to the extent it needs to in Congress but also with the administration," Omar told reporters after visiting PoK. Condemning her visit to PoK, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi reporters in New Delhi at a media briefing, "Let me just say that if such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded at home, that's her business."

"But violating our territorial integrity and sovereignty... makes this ours and we think the visit is condemnable," Bagchi said.

The Islamabad visit by Omar, who represents Minnesota in the US House of Representatives, is the first by an American legislator since the new Pakistan government took office. Her meeting with Imran Khan at his residence at Bani Gala has been criticised since the ouster Pakistan premier had accused Washington of conspiracy to dislodge his government.

When asked what the US made of the Omar-Khan meeting, in particular, Chollet said, "Congresswoman's visit was a personal visit. It was not something that the State Department helped to organize so I don't have much to comment on it. Because it was a visit made in her personal capacity."

Omar is the first naturalized citizen of African birth to sit in the US Congress. She has been a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has previously questioned Biden administration officials over what she said was their "failure" to criticize the Indian government on the issue of human rights and its actions against its Muslim minorities in India.

In a recent hearing in which Omar questioned Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Omar raised concerns about the United States's history of getting close to undemocratic leaders as a strategy to show strength in numbers against an adversary.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, April 22 2022. 09:40 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.