As US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, infamous in this part of the world for her Islamist ideology and propaganda, visited Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India condemned the visit and said her “narrow-minded politics” violated its “territorial integrity and sovereignty”. Omar is on a four-day visit to Pakistan from 20 to 24 April. India considers the PoK a part of its territory that Pakistan illegally occupies.
Omar has met Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his predecessor Imran Khan already and also visited Muzaffarabad in PoK.
The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We have noted that US Representative Ilhan Omar has visited a part of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that is 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 and sovereignty in its pursuit makes it ours. This visit is condemnable.”
Earlier in May, Omar, a Democratic Congresswoman, asked why the Biden administration was so reluctant to criticise the Modi government on the issue of human rights. Omar has, in the past, accused India of pursuing an anti-Muslim policy.
In Muzaffarabad, the US Congresswoman said the United States Foreign Affairs Committee had previously held hearings to investigate the reports of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and had discussed the anti-Muslim rhetoric and its effects in India.
Apart from meetings with the political leadership in Islamabad, she will also visit Lahore on her four-day visit to Pakistan.
Ilhan Omar, the Islamist
In August 2019, Omar and Representative Rashida Tlaib were banned from entering Israel, a reversal from the July 2019 statement by Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer that “any member of Congress” would be allowed in. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attributed the ban to Israeli law preventing the entry of people who call for a boycott of Israel (as Omar and Tlaib had done with their support for BDS).
In June 2020 following the murder of a shady character called George Floyd, Omar supported the police abolition movement in Minneapolis that sought to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, saying that the department had “proven themselves beyond reform”.
On 11 April 2019, the front page of the New York Post carried an image of the World Trade Center burning following the September 11 terrorist attacks and a quotation from a speech Omar gave the previous month. The headline read, “REP. ILHAN OMAR: 9/11 WAS ‘SOME PEOPLE DID SOMETHING'”. The media house added a caption underneath: “Here’s your something … 2,977 people dead by terrorism.”
In June 2019, Minnesota campaign finance officials ruled that Omar had to pay back $3,500 that she had spent on out-of-state travel and tax filing in violation of state law, plus a $ 500 fine.
On 14 July that year, then US President Donald Trump tweeted that the Squad, a group that consists of Omar and three other congresswomen of colour who were born in the United States, should “go back” to the “places from which they came”.
Omar is not only an Islamist but also accused of adopting corrupt practices while holding public offices. In 2018, Republican state representative Steve Drazkowski had accused Omar of campaign finance violations, claiming that she used campaign funds to pay a divorce lawyer and that her acceptance of speaking fees from public colleges violated the Minnesota House rules. Omar responded that the attorney’s fees were not personal but campaign-related; she offered to return the speaking fees.
The Campaign Finance Board’s investigation also found that in 2014 and 2015 Omar had jointly filed taxes with a man she was not legally married to. Unlike some states, Minnesota does not recognize common law marriage, and so such a joint filing is not legally permitted.