Washington: Continuing with her anti-India tirade, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has introduced a resolution that calls the US Secretary of State to designate India as a country of particular concern for alleged violation of religious freedom. Co-sponsored by Congresswomen Rashida Talib and Juan Vargas, the resolution urges the Biden administration to implement the recommendations of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom which has called for designating India as a country of particular concern for three consecutive years.
Introduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the resolution has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for necessary action. A resolution like this is very unlikely to see the light of the day, given the vindictive approach being adopted by Congresswoman Omar. She has openly sided with Pakistani officials on the issue of India.
Omar, who visited Pakistan in last April and met top Pakistani leaders, including former Prime Minister Imran Khan, and travelled to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), is yet to disclose the nature, including the funding, of the visit.
India had condemned the US Congresswoman’s visit to PoK, saying her travel to the region violated the country’s sovereignty and it reflected her “narrow-minded” politics.
“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,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.
During several Congressional hearings related to India, Omar has repeatedly shown her bias against India. The news about the resolution was first reported, in advance, by a senior official from Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, which also slammed a senior State Department official.
Omar’s resolution condemns alleged human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those “targeting” Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. It expressed grave concern about the “worsening treatment” of religious minorities in India.
India had rejected the criticism against it in the US State Department report on religious freedom, saying it is unfortunate that “vote bank politics” is being practised in international relations. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said the observation on India in the report is based on “motivated inputs and biased views”.
“It is unfortunate that vote bank politics is being practised in international relations. We would urge that assessments based on motivated inputs and biased views be avoided. As a naturally pluralistic society, India values religious freedom and human rights. In our discussions with the US, we have regularly highlighted issues of concern there, including racially and ethnically motivated attacks, hate crimes and gun violence,” he said.