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Pressure mounts on Biden to reject Masood Khan’s appointment as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States

US President Joe biden.(ANI Photo)

Pressure is mounting on the Biden administration from influential political circles to reject the appointment of alleged terror-sympathiser Masood Khan as Pakistan’s next ambassador to the United States.

Congressman Scott Perry from Pennsylvania has now written to US President Joe Biden to reject Masood’s appointment, citing references that  point to Khan’s linkages with international terror groups. Khan, a  career diplomat,  has been the so-called “president “of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK)

Expressing his “grave concern” Perry points to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s appointee as a “bona fide terrorist sympathizer”. The Congressman—a former aviator in the US armed forces— asserts in his letter that Masood has been  working to “undermine our interests in the region – as well as the security of our Indian allies…” The Pakistani government’s decision to appoint his as ambassador  “can only be described as a breath-taking lack of judgment at best, and a demonstration of Islamabad’s unmitigated contempt for the United States at worst”.

The congressman then goes on to record Masood’s wilful association with a string of terror groups.

Perry points out that the Khan has praised both terrorists and foreign terrorist organizations – including Hizbul Mujahideen – “in stark and unsettling terms”.

“He has encouraged young men to emulate jihadists like Burhan Wani, a former commander of Hizbul Mujahideen who dedicated his life to a holy war against India.”

In July 2021, while serving as president of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), Khan delivered a "special message" on Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, who was killed in 2016 during his fifth death anniversary.

"We grieve today for Burhan Wani… He lives on in our hearts. He sacrificed his life for a cause," he said at the event.

According to a US based magazine National Review, a report titled, “A Terror Supporter Goes to Washington”, Masood Khan is a dangerous radical with a long history of working with Islamists in the West and jihadists in the East.

Indian security forces killed Wani in 2016.

“In 2019, Khan willingly appeared alongside Fazlur Rehman Khalil, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) who is the founder of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), a US-designated foreign terrorist organization.”

The US lawmaker, an Iraq-war veteran, points out that Khalil’s SDGT designation was justified by the Treasury Department in 2014 due to his “close relationship with al-Qaida, including with Usama Bin Laden (UBL) prior to his death”. “Khalil was a key member of UBL’s International Islamic Front and a cosignatory of UBL’s first fatwa, issued in 1998, calling for attacks against the United States.”

The conservative lawmaker asserts that the Ambassador-designate is a supporter of the terrorist groups Jamaat-e-Islami, a group that assisted in committing genocide in the early 1970s.

Jamat-e-Islami whose killing squads helped the Pakistani army  carry out acts of genocide against Bangladeshis in 1971, is a matter of record.

Khan, in one event, “paid tributes to Jamaat Islami Pakistan for playing an active role in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir,” says a report that appeared in the National Review publication.

 Perry states that Khan has been a supporter of the Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a group that had no qualms establishing a partnership with the foreign terrorist organization responsible for the brutal murder of 166 people during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

“This unscrupulous individual also called on the United States to free would-be mass murderer Aafia Siddiqui.”

Perry’s letter nails Siddiqui conviction in 2010 for attempting to murder American Troops.

Since then, “jihadists have regularly clamoured for her release – to include the perpetrator behind the anti-Semitic hostage crisis in Colleyville, Texas earlier this month”.

“While I am encouraged that the State Department has reportedly placed a pause on approving Masood Khan as the new Ambassador from Pakistan, a pause 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.”

Also Read:  Imran Khan appoints terror supporter Masood Khan, former President of POK as Pak envoy to the US