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Sunday May 29, 2022

US distances itself from Ilhan Omar’s travel to Pakistan

The US congresswoman met President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar

By APP
April 23, 2022
US congresswoman Ilhan Omar seen meeting PM Shehbaz. Photo: PID
US congresswoman Ilhan Omar seen meeting PM Shehbaz. Photo: PID 

WASHINGTON: United States Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s current travel to Pakistan is not sponsored by the US government, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.

“As I understand it, representative Omar is not visiting Pakistan on US government sponsored travel,” he told reporters at his daily news briefing in response to a question from a Pakistani reporter. "So I'd need to refer you to her office for questions on her travel,” Price added.

Ms Omar, a Democrat, arrived in Islamabad earlier this week on a visit to Pakistan, and will stay till April 24. 

The American lawmaker met President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar. She also met former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. However, her meeting with Imran Khan generated controversy as the ex-premier has been claiming that a US-backed conspiracy was behind his government's ouster. Washington has firmly denied his claims.

Some politicians immediately chided the PTI chairman for the meeting with Ms Omar, reminding him of his criticism of US officials meeting opposition figures. In this regard, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah posed the question to Khan, "Was the meeting with the American Congresswoman part of a conspiracy or was it interference?"

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