The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS), in a statement on Wednesday, urged Biden to reject the appointment of “jihadi-terrorist supporter” Masood Khan as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US.
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“We also request Secretary of State Antony Blinken and members of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on foreign affairs to extend their support,” FIIDS said.
“Masood Khan has at times shown a softer stance towards jihadi-terrorists, including Afiya Siddiqui, better known as ‘Lady Al-Qaeda’,” the group said. Their support for Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM) and Jamaat-e-Islami etc. declared terrorist organizations under US law is not only harmful to US interests but also to global peace.
FIIDS is a US-based institute for study and awareness on Indo-US policy. “Khan’s diplomatic role in the US could open the door for terrorist organizations to access American institutions,” FIIDS said. In addition, his formerly active role as the head of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) would complicate US relations with its strategic partner India. Their support for the Taliban will also adversely affect US interests in Afghanistan.”
FIIDS said in a detailed statement that Khan is a supporter of Afiya Siddiqui and tweeted on May 7, 2020, “Ambassador Jones: US Government may find a way to free Afia Siddiqui. The US has negotiated a peace deal with the Taliban, once considered a staunch enemy. Now a way should be made for the freedom of Afia, which is long overdue.
The institute also alleged that in 2019 Khan shared the stage with Fazlur Rehman Khaleel, a declared global terrorist and founder of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM).
FIIDS said, “Masood Khan is also a supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami, whose assassination squads helped the Pakistani army carry out acts of genocide against Bangladeshis in 1971, thousands of women from minority groups were raped Yes, people were killed and lakhs of people were displaced.
“On the fifth death anniversary of dreaded terrorist Burhan Wani, former commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a terrorist organization declared under US law, Khan called Wani a “model for freedom fighters across the world”, the statement said.
FIIDS said that Khan served as the head of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) until August 25, 2021, Human Rights Watch report said Pakistani government represses democratic liberties, suppresses press and tortures people in PoK.
“During Khan’s regime, various press releases published by his office included support and praise for terrorists such as Junaid Sehrai and Tariq Ahmed Hizbul,” the group said. Khan had described these terrorists as martyrs and their terrorist acts as sacrifices. Their steadfast support of terrorists and separatists in Kashmir will hamper US-India relations and create unwanted complications.