Washington: Pakistan's appointment of Masood Khan as its new ambassador to Washington is less a diplomatic olive branch and more an effort symbolically to rub salt in America's wounds.

Michael Rubin, writing in Washington Examiner said that the members of Congress are correct to raise their concerns to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Masood Khan maintains intimate relations with Pakistan-supported terrorist groups, as well as close associations with terrorists convicted by US courts.

He openly supports terrorist groups launching attacks in Kashmir. Khan has also met regularly with members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist group responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which terrorists murdered 166 people, including six Americans, one of whom was a 13-year-old girl.

This support for Lashkar-e-Taiba was the rule rather than the exception for Khan. He repeatedly praised Helping Hand for Relief and Development, an organization that openly cooperated with the terrorist group, reported Washington Examiner.

Khan's appointment is a window into the reality of Pakistani policy. Rather than cooperate to defeat Islamist terrorist groups who one day will overwhelm what is left of moderate Pakistani society, Prime Minister Imran Khan encourages them, said Rubin.

If US President Joe Biden is serious about his core duty to defend Americans, it is time not only to send Khan home but also to end Pakistan's Major Non-NATO Ally status, added Rubin.

Nor should the US reward governments that harbour any terrorists, let alone those with American blood on their hands. Not only should the US deny Khan's credentials, but it should also respond to Khan's provocative appointment by designating Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism.

Moreover, symbolism is important. India dispatched Taranjit Singh Sandhu, one of its most talented career foreign service officers, to be ambassador to the US. The same is true of M Shahidul Islam, who represents Bangladesh in Washington. That Pakistan sends an apologist for murder should cause Washington to reconsider its ties with Islamabad.