March 24, 2023

US lawmaker calls Pak’s US envoy-designate a ‘jihadist’, wants his nomination rejected – Times of India

WASHINGTON: Calling Pakistan’s new ambassador-designate to the United States Masood Khan a “jihadist,” and a “terrorist sympathiser,” an American lawmaker has urged the Biden administration to reject his diplomatic credentials amid continued deterioration in Washington’s ties with Islamabad.
In a letter to President Joe Biden last week, Republican Congressman Scott Perry, a US military veteran, called Khan a “bona fide terrorist sympathizer” and an “unscrupulous individual” who is working to undermine US interests as well as “the security of our Indian allies.”
Acceptance of Khan’s credentials following his nomination for the US ambassadorship has reportedly been put on hold by the state department, but Perry said while he was encouraged by that, it is not enough. “I urge you to reject any diplomatic credentials presented to you by Masood Khan and reject any effort by the Government of Pakistan to install this jihadist as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States,” he said.
Perry’s objections centered among other issues to Khan’s purported support for terrorism in Kashmir, where he said the diplomat had “praised both terrorists and foreign terrorist organizations – including Hizbul Mujahideen – in stark and unsettling terms” and has “encouraged young men to emulate jihadists like Burhan Wani.”
Wani, a commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, was shot down by Indian forces in 2016 and is celebrated as a hero by jihadists.
Perry also outlined Khan’s support for terrorism-supporting organizations such as Jamait-e-Islami and his efforts to free convicted Pakistani scientists Aasia Siddique to argue that his nomination served to illustrate Pakistan’s support for terrorism and it should be rejected.
“A litany of examples accompanies Mr. Khan’s perverse attachment to Islamic terrorism, which makes it exceedingly obvious that Pakistan has embraced its identity as a super terrorist state,” Perry said in a scathing indictment of Pakistan and its prime minister Imran Khan.
Imran Khan’s decision to send him to Washington can only be described as “breathtaking lack of judgment” and a demonstration of Islamabad’s “unmitigated contempt for the United States,” he added.
Khan, who served in the Pakistan Embassy in US early in his career, has close ties with PoK, where he was born in Rawalakot in a Pashtun family. He went on to become Islamabad’s UN envoy and ambassador to China before he was made “president” of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He also served as a spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign office during the Musharraf regime.
Perry himself is a controversial figure in the US. A third-term Congressman from Pennsylvania, he is an unabashed Trump supporter, and is at the center of a Congressional investigation into the January 6 insurrection.

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