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Ilhan doesn’t represent US govt on trip: spokesman

Updated 22 Apr, 2022
<p>A combination of file photos of US State Department spokesperson Ned Price and US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Reuters</p>

A combination of file photos of US State Department spokesperson Ned Price and US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Reuters

The United States administration has said that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was not visiting Pakistan on the US government’s sponsored travel, as the latter met with former prime minister Imran Khan and visited Azad Jammu and Kashmir region.

“Well, as I understand it, Representative Omar is not visiting Pakistan on U.S. Government-sponsored travel, so I’d need to refer you to her office for questions on her travel,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in the weekly press briefing on Thursday.

The reporter had sought Price’s comments on the close associates of Imran’s claim that the US was “trying to clear the air” with the former PM. In a veiling reference, Imran had many times accused the US of ousting him through a vote of no-confidence. The former premier also spoke about similar claims in Lahore’s public gathering on Thursday.

Read more: Working with Pakistan to bring stability in Afghanistan: US

Omar arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday on a four-day visit and had meetings with President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, National Assembly Speaker Raja Parvez Ashraf, and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar.

During a visit to Muzaffarabad as part of her Pakistan trip on Thursday, the American congresswoman called for greater attention to Indian brutalities in the occupied parts of the Kashmir valley.

The Somali-American politician, while speaking to the media in AJK’s capital, had said her visit would help her gain a better understanding of the ground realities and provide context to the many human rights reports that she has read about the region.

We are also reviewing the widescale anti-Muslim policies of [Indian PM Narendra] Modi’s regime, she said.

“I hope my trip [to AJK] will further highlight the Kashmir issue and more people will talk about it,” she said while urging human rights organisations to be more vocal on the issue.