US president Joe Biden (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A TOP Indian diaspora group has urged US president Joe Biden to reject the appointment of Masood Khan as Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington DC, alleging that the latter is a sympathiser of terrorist outfits.
The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) on Wednesday (2) appealed to Biden in a statement to turn down the appointment of “Jihadi-terrorist-sympathiser” Khan as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.
“We also request Secretary of State Antony Blinken and members of the Senate and House committees on foreign relations to support this rejection,” it said.
“Masood Khan has repeatedly demonstrated a soft spot for Jihadi-terrorists, including Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted terrorist operative known as ‘Lady Al-Qaeda’. His support to designated terrorist organisations under the US law such as Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), and Jamaat-e-Islami, is not only inimical to US interests, but also to global peace,” FIIDS said.
FIIDS is a US-based institute for US-India policy studies and awareness.
“Khan’s diplomatic role in the United States may open an avenue for access for terrorist organisations to US institutions. Furthermore, his former active role as president of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir will complicate US relations with its strategic partner India. His support to the Taliban will also adversely affect US interests in Afghanistan,” it said.
The appointment of Khan as the envoy has been opposed by America’s domestic circles as well. The US has reportedly held up approval for appointing Khan as the new Pakistani envoy to Washington DC, apparently due to concerns related to his past stint as the president of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (2016-21).
Pakistan picked Khan as the ambassador to the US last November but diplomatic circles in Islamabad have been abuzz that Washington held up his approval.
US Congressman asks Biden to reject Khan’s appointment
US Congressman (Republican) Scott Perry wrote to Biden urging him to “reject any democratic credentials” presented by Khan in view of his background as a “bona fide terrorist sympathizer working to undermine” American interests in the region and the “security of our Indian allies”.
He also said that Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan’s nomination of Khan “can only be described as a breathtaking lack of judgement at best, and a demonstration of Islamabad’s unmitigated contempt for the United States at worst”, the Hindustan Times reported.