Ilhan Omar, member of the US House of Representatives, on a four-day visit to Pakistan, also went to Azad Kashmir on April 21 where she met the President in Muzaffarabad, the state capital.
Her visit to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and meeting with President Sultan Mehmood sent the fascist regime in India into a frenzied reaction.
Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman, Arindam Bagchi, huffed and puffed like the big bad wolf but he could do little to stop the visit or prevent the US Congresswoman from making a bold statement through her visit.
Bagchi said the Indian regime had “noted” Omar’s visit to “a part of the Indian Kashmir that is currently illegally occupied by Pakistan.”
It is India that has illegally occupied the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Most Kashmiris reject India’s occupation and have for decades demanded that a referendum under UN-supervision be held to determine the state’s future.
This is enshrined in more than a dozen Security Council resolutions.
India stubbornly refuses to abide by its own pledges to the people of Kashmir, and to the world.
Bagchi had the gall to say: “If such a politician [Ilhan Omar] 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.”
Most Kashmiris would reject Bagchi’s pathetic statement.
Following Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s meeting with President Sultan Mehmood, the Kashmir government statement said she had vowed to join hands with other members in the US Congress for “solidarity with Kashmiris and raise the plight of Kashmiris in the Biden administration.”
A day earlier, Congresswoman Omar had met Imran Khan at his Bani Gala residence to thank him for his bold and principled stand against Islamophobia.
Nearly a month before Imran Khan was ousted from power by a US-engineered coup, Pakistan had sponsored a resolution in the UN General Assembly.
It called for declaring March 15 as UN Islamophobia Day.
While representatives of India, France and the European Union spoke out against it in the Assembly, the resolution passed by consensus.
This was Imran Khan’s singular achievement and won applause and support from Muslims worldwide.
India has illegal occupied two-thirds of the state of Jammu and Kashmir when it landed its troops on October 27, 1947 in Srinagar, the state capital.
Even while indulging in such brazenly illegal act, then Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru pledged in repeated statements that the future of the state will be determined by ascertaining the wishes of the people.
True to form, Nehru was being hypocritical.
He had no intention of holding a referendum even while his representatives pledged at the UN that they would allow a referendum to be held as soon as circumstances permitted.
Once India tightened its military grip on the state, it started to back out of its pledge.
Today, its officials make scandalous statements claiming Kashmir is an integral part of India.
Neither the Kashmiris nor the rest of the world recognizes this fraudulent claim.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir remains disputed territory on the books of the United Nations.
Ilhan Omar’s visit to Kashmir is a bold reflection of this reality even if other western politicians tiptoe through the issue and refuse to condemn Indian crimes against the Kashmiris.
She has previously condemned India’s well-documented human rights abuses in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK).
“We should be calling for an immediate restoration of communication, respect for human rights, democratic norms, and religious freedom, and de-escalation in Kashmir,” Congresswoman Omar tweeted in 2019.
This followed India’s unilateral abrogation on August 5, 2019 of the autonomous status of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
Preceding this was a massive crackdown by Indian occupation forces that has intensified since the illegal act of August 2019.
True to form, Indian trolls indulged in abusive social media attacks against Ilhan Omar.
She has remained undeterred. Surely, the people of Kashmir would appreciate such support.