NEW DELHI: Calling the style of politics of United States Congresswoman Ilhan Omar as “narrow-minded”, India on Thursday condemned her visit to the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) saying that it violated the country’s “territorial integrity and sovereignty”.
Omar, a Somali American Muslim who belongs to US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, visited the PoK on Thursday. Speaking to reporters there, she said the US administration, as well as the Congress, was not taking as much as needed about the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Responding to a question on the matter, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that her visit “is condemnable”.
“We have noted that she (Ilhan Omar) has visited a part of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that is currently illegally occupied by Pakistan,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters here.
“Let me just say that if such a politician wishes to practice a narrow-minded politics at home, that’s her business, but violating our territorial integrity and sovereignty in its pursuit makes this ours and we think the visit is condemnable,” the MEA spokesperson added.
Well known for her anti-India rhetoric, Omar has been alleging human rights violations in Kashmir, a charge vehemently denied by the government of India.
In PoK, she interacted with locals and authorities to assess the ground situation there.
Her visit to Pakistan has not only raked controversy in India but also in the neighbouring country she is on a four-day visit till April 24. In Pakistan, her meeting with former Prime Minister Imran Khan has raised eyebrows in Islamabad.
Questioning the meeting of Omar and Khan, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah asked, “Was the meeting with the American Congresswoman part of a conspiracy or was it interference?’’
She also met Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Dr. Arif Alvi, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina R Khar in Islamabad.