The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that United States Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s recent visit to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir had violated India’s territorial integrity, ANI reported.
Omar arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday and will stay in the country till April 24, according to The Indian Express. Earlier on Thursday, she visited Muzaffarabad, the capital of the region that Pakistan refers to as Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
At a press briefing on Thursday, foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that Omar visited a part of Jammu and Kashmir that is illegally occupied by Pakistan.
“If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home, that may be her business,” Bagchi said. “But violating our territorial integrity and sovereignty in its pursuit makes this ours. This visit is condemnable.”
On Thursday, Omar held a meeting with the President of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, The Express Tribune reported.
She told mediapersons that the United States’ Foreign Affairs Committee has held hearings to discuss alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, and the Indian government’s alleged anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“The condemnations and concerns of those who fight for human rights and the question of Kashmir will be included in future hearings within the USA,” she said.
On April 7, Omar, who belongs to the ruling Democratic Party in the United States, had asked the Joe Biden administration why it was “so reluctant” to criticise the Indian government on human rights abuses.
“How much does the Modi administration have to criminalise the act of being Muslim in India for us to say something,” Omar had asked at a Congressional briefing. Five days later, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed concern about the “rise in human rights abuses” in India.