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Saturday, March 02, 2024  
20 Shaban 1445  

US rep Ihan Omar calls for fair elections in Pakistan

Speaks about human rights situation amid ‘criminalising PTI’
United States Representative Ilhan Omar in a photo op with PTI founder Imran Khan on April 20, 2022. Photo via X/@ShireenMazari1/File
United States Representative Ilhan Omar in a photo op with PTI founder Imran Khan on April 20, 2022. Photo via X/@ShireenMazari1/File

United States Representative Ilhan Omar has called for free and fair elections in Pakistan as she expresses concerns over the crackdown on the PTI.

“There can’t be free and fair elections when one of the opposition parties has been criminalized,” she said in a post on X while sharing a November 17, 2023 news report on Monday.

Omar visited Pakistan in April 2022. She met a host of important figures including President Dr Arif Alvi, the-then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PTI founder Imran Khan, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Foreign Office officials.

In her meeting with Shehbaz, she underscored that Pakistan valued its long-standing relationship with the United States and wanted to further deepen bilateral cooperation based on mutual respect, trust and equality.

Omar in her meeting with Khan had discussed Islamophobia and related issues. She had expressed her admiration for Khan and his position on and work against Islamophobia globally, according to Shireen Mazari’s social media post on April 20, 2022.

“Since my colleagues and I raised our concerns about human rights in Pakistan last November, things have only gotten worse,” Omar said.

Last year 11 democrats in the House of Representatives called on the State Department to conduct a probe into human rights abuses inside Pakistan, with an eye toward restricting aid based on potential violations of the Leahy Act.

It was led by Omar and Representative Greg Casar of Texas. They expressed “deep concern about the ongoing human rights violations in Pakistan” the ouster of former PM Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence in April 2022.

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