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Pak accuses ‘India lobby’ of trying to scuttle its US envoy appointment

Source : The Times of India

Pak accuses ‘India lobby’ of trying to scuttle its US envoy appointment
Pakistan's proposed envoy to the US, Ambassador Masood Khan who once praised terror organisation Hizbul Mujahideen and terrorist Burhan Wani



Pakistan has blamed the “Indian lobby” in America for a diplomatic train wreck in Washington that has resulted in the Biden administration holding up the acceptance of Islamabad’s ambassador-designate to the United States, purportedly for his dodgy stance on terrorism.

Previously Pakistan’s envoy to the United Nations and ambassador to China, Sardar Masood Khan’s nomination has hit a wall in Washington after a prominent US lawmaker said he is a “jihadist who espouses terrorist causes”, including inciting the youth in Kashmir. Congressman Scott Perry also urged the state department to convert its pause on the credentialing into an outright rejection, saying his nomination demonstrated Islamabad’s “unmitigated contempt for the United States”.

A Pakistani government source maintained that the credentialing was under process and accused New Delhi of trying to scuttle the appointment, ostensibly because of Khan’s “expertise” on the Kashmir issue. “His agrément is being processed in the US system. This (reports of a pause) is a part of the wider Indian disinformation campaign to malign Pakistan and those who represent the country, by using fake news to make scandalous claims and baseless allegations,” spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmad said in Islamabad.

The Biden administration declined to confirm or deny reports on the matter, whether it was a procedural delay or a pause because of Khan’s controversial statements. “As a matter of standard diplomatic practice, we do not comment on the status of agrément requests from foreign governments,” a state department spokesperson told ToI.

Led by Prime Minister Imran Khan himself, Masood Khan has been part of Pakistan’s shrill campaign against New Delhi, including calling the Modi government “fascist” and “extremist”. While the Modi government has its critics in the US, by no stretch of imagination is it equated to the Republic of India, which has solid bipartisan support in Washington.In contrast, Pakistan’s stock has plummeted sharply, with even its regular Congressional torchbearers appearing to have given up on Islamabad because of its extremist rhetoric. Among other issues, Islamabad has officially demanded the US release a convicted Pakistani-origin scientist Aafia Siddiqui, associated with Al Qaeda and its terrorist attacks on the US homeland.

In his letter to President Biden calling for rejecting Masood Khan’s nomination as the US ambassador, Congressman Perry pointed out to his encouraging youth in Kashmir to take up jihadist activity, saying he has a “perverse attachment to Islamic terrorism, which makes it exceedingly obvious that Pakistan has embraced its identity as a super terrorist state.”

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