The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has criticised US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for visiting Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, describing her visit to the region as a violation of India’s territorial integrity. “She visited a part of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan. If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home that may be her business, but violating our territorial integrity in its pursuit makes it ours,” Arindam Bagchi, MEA spokesperson, said at a press briefing on Thursday, according to news agency ANI.

Omar, who has been critical of India’s alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, and, earlier this month, slammed the Joe Biden administration for what she said was its silence despite the ‘persecution of Indian Muslims by the Modi government’, arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday on a four-day visit. On Thursday, she went to Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK, and met Sultan Mehboob Chaudhary, the so-called President of the region.

We should be calling for an immediate restoration of communication; respect for human rights, democratic norms, and religious freedom; and de-escalation in Kashmir.

The Somalian-born leader is the first American legislator to tour Pakistan after the ouster of the Imran Khan government and the arrival of a new dispensation under Shehbaz Sharif, Khan’s successor. On the first day of her visit, she met various politicians, including both Sharif and Imran; her meeting with the latter triggered controversy as the cricketer-turned-politician had repeatedly accused the United States of hatching a conspiracy to topple his government before he was finally voted out by the opposition.

Though Washington refuted Khan’s allegations on numerous occasions, he has, in recent public rallies, continued to blame the US for the ouster of his government.