–US delicate diplomacy in South Asia explained in full
N. P. Upadhyaya (Aryal)
Kathmandu: Much is being said of the recent meet of Ilhan Omar, the Democratic Representative of USA (Minnesota) with the freshly ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad.
Ilhan Omar met with ousted PM Khan on April 20, 2022.
Omar is a Somali-born-Muslim-American immigrant who represents Minnesota in the US House of Representatives.
Ilhan Omar, reports say, met with the Captain Cricketer, play boy, philanthropist, a politician, and finally a Prime Minister Imran Khan for two special political reasons.
The street Jalasa (demonstrations) here and there inside Pakistan and the mammoth participation therein of the general mass perhaps tells the actual political strength of the now ejected Pakistani Prime Minister and thus the somewhat annoyed US administration under President Joe Biden may have sent a Muslim democrat leader of the US to take former PM Imran Khan into once again into confidence.
So far as we understand that the US prefers and rates high those political leaders who have popular base and were “loved” by the common masses in their respective countries and also to those who stand firm on the universal values of the democratic system.
The Ilhan Omar-Imran Khan meet must have been arranged by the US administration to send signals to Imran Khan not to get annoyed with the US and that the US only wanted to hint Khan that he must not have inched closer to China and the Russian federation-the competing rivals of the US.
Some even say that Ilhan Omar was in Pakistan to tell the new men in Pakistan government that “the US still takes Pakistan as its former Cold War ally and that Pakistan will benefit politically and economically both if and when Pakistan inched closer to the US.
Omar also met with Pakistan’s Minister of State for foreign Affairs Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar at the latter’s office in Islamabad.
The Lady Minister Khar is a known figure in this region and is pleasingly taken as the most beautiful lady in South Asia.
She strongly maintains that the US and Pakistan must have good and intensive relations for the prevalence of peace and stability in this part of the world-South Asia.
The USs impression has been that with the advent of PM Khan in power in 2018, the US lost its grip on Pakistan which it used to be have on Pakistan in the good old days of the Cold War era.
However, South Asian observers who have watched the Pakistani efforts at easing the problems of USs forces exit from the Afghanistan wish to signal the US that had Pakistan not helped the US; the latter could not have made its last year’s exit from Afghanistan easier.
Recall the Doha dialogue that was mediated by Pakistan under Imran Khan.
Add to this the Three Plus Troika (the US, China, Russia and Pakistan) with Vladimir Putin’s special envoy on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, too have had enjoyed Pakistani backing in an indirect fashion.
The US is not annoyed with the country called Pakistan but had some serious reservations with an individual Imran Khan who knowingly or even unknowingly kept a comfortable distance with the US and inched closer to the rivals of the US-China and Russia.
The US can tolerate anything but not China and Russia.
Khan’s exasperation with the US was only cemented on that he wanted from the US a “treatment at par with the Indian establishment”.
For multiple strategic political reasons the US have had to “elevate” India to counter China’s increasing influence across the globe and thus the Quad was formed that included the US, Japan, Australia and the recognized camp changer-India which switched its political allegiance from the Russians to the US.
To recall, India had signed a twenty years security arrangement with the former USSR.
When the USSR broke, India thought it opportune to cling to the US.
Russia in its sown right claims itself as heir apparent to the now dissolved USSR.
The camp changer India tentatively has once again switched to the Russian camp ditching thus the Biden administration when the latter needed India most.
Some even say that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson all of a sudden landed in India in order to appease India.
Johnson’s India visit is nothing but a strategic trip inured to take India into confidence and hint the latter that inching closer to the Russians has lesser political and economic benefits that remaining glued with the US.
Now back to the point:
Ilhan Omar’s visit to Pakistan has benefited Pakistan in a many more ways than one.
Firstly, the US relations that have had deteriorated with Pakistan under PM Khan’s regime must have come to its original track.
Secondly, Ilhan Omar’s meet with the ousted PM Khan must have worked to patch up their political differences.
This means that ousted PM Khan once again is in the good book of the US administration.
By the way, some even presume that Imran Khan must have told Ilhan Omar not to take his outbursts made against the US at time of the “unceremonious exit” in a grave manner.
This is diplomacy either way.
Outbursts are sudden occurrence, Khan must have signaled the Democrat leader Ilhan Omar.
“I meant no harm to the US”, Khan must have whispered Ilhan Omar at Bani Gala’s office.
The sudden visit of the United States Congresswomen Ilhan Omar’s to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to, in what has been described as, obtain first-hand information about the current situation of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has several political meanings underneath.
Nepali observers believe that Ilhan’s visit to Azad Kashmir must have been a deliberate one in that the US wanted to signal the Indian establishment that “if you change the camp and switch to Russia”, “we too will have to deal with you the same way”.
The US is well abreast of the fact that Kashmir is the weakest point of the Indian establishment.
However, the US government says Omar has gone to Pakistan on her own.
The US says: “As I understand it, representative Ilhan Omar is not visiting Pakistan on US government sponsored travel”, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his regular news conference.
If things go as expected, Washington may accept Sardar Masood Khan as Pakistan’ new Ambassador to the US which so far had been blocked by the Indian lobby in the US.
Saardar Masood was until recently the President of Azad Kashmir.
This does mean that the US is pained in observing the treachery of the Indian establishment which has for cheap Oil from the Russian have almost abandoned the Quad which testifies that India no longer is with the US camp.
US relations with the Russian federation has touched a new low after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, February this year.
The then Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan unknowingly landed in Moscow and the day after Moscow “pounced” upon Ukraine under the guise of Military Operation.
Russia got frightened when it learnt from its own intelligence sources that Ukraine was likely to join the NATO Club and have had several US “chemical bio labs” in its territory.
Thus even a lay political man could understand as to why the US preferred this time to send its democratic leader and that too a Muslim women to Azad Kashmir.
Ms. Ilhan Omar following her meeting with AJK President Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, Tribune Pakistan dated April 21, 2022, is learnt to have addressed a press conference wherein she is believed to have said that the United States Foreign Affairs Committee had previously held hearings to investigate the reports of human rights violations in IIOJK and discussed the Modi administration’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and its effects”.
Ms. Omar added, as Pak Tribune reports , “I don’t believe that it is being talked about to the extent it needs to be in Congress and within the administration,” adding that she hoped her visit to AJK motivates more conversations.
“The condemnations and concerns of those who fight for human rights and the question of Kashmir will be included in future hearings within the USA,” Omar assured.
Her statements made on Kashmir that are definitely somewhat pinching to India, must have irked the entire Indian establishment which could be concluded by the statement released by the Indian Foreign Ministry, writes Callie Patteson for the New York Post dated April 21, which says in part, that India’s Ministry of External Affairs blasted far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar’s visit to Pakistan this week, calling her trip to the disputed region of Kashmir “condemnable.”
The New York Post further writes quoting India’s foreign ministry that “We have noted that she has visited a part of Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir that is currently illegally occupied by Pakistan”.
The Indian Ministry spokesman said of the US Minnesota Democrat that “let me just say that if such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home … that may be her business.”
South Asian observers claim that Ms. Ilhan Omar has remained vocal on J & K after the repeal of Article 370 and has repeatedly called for de-escalation in Kashmir and permission to international organizations to fully document what is happening on the ground”.
Reports trickling from Washington claim that “more US law makers” are yet to land in India to press this country to switch its allegiance from Russia to the US and condemns the Russian war on Ukraine.
All in all, Ilhan Omar’s current trip to Pakistan has several subtle messages for India.
Ilhan’s meet with the core team of Imran Khan’s party at his office in Bani Gala too says many things unspoken.
Dr. Shireen Mazari Tweets April 20, 2022: “US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called on Chairman PTI in Bani Gala. They discussed Islamophobia & related issues.
@Ilhan expressed her admiration for @ImranKhanPTI & his position on & work against Islamophobia globally. IK appreciated her courageous & principled position on issues”.
Dr. Mazari was in PM Khan’s cabinet.
The USs subtle diplomacy appears to be in progress. If it for the South Asian regional stability then it is most welcome, opine Nepali observers. That’s all.
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