Pakistan can’t have fair elections, says US Congresswoman Omar
WASHINGTON: (Web Desk) Criticising the democratic process in Pakistan, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said that the country cannot have “free and fair elections when one of the opposition parties has been criminalised”.
The criticism comes three days before the general elections scheduled for February 8 in Pakistan.
In a statement shared on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), Omar said, “Since my colleagues and I raised our concerns about human rights in Pakistan last November, things have only gotten worse. There can’t be free and fair elections when one of the opposition parties has been criminalised.”
She expressed her concerns referring to numerous cases filed against former prime minister Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and his other party members. In many cases, the courts have sentenced them to several years in jail.
The Democrat Somali American Congresswoman from Minnesota is being targeted by Republicans on the basis of a mistranslated speech to Somali constituents in her district.
The mistranslated one says that Omar had said that she serves foreign interests and that the US government had no option but to follow her. Follower of Donald Trump and Republican Representative from Georgia, Marjorie Minnesota, moved a censure resolution against Omar, and the Republican Whip in the House, Tom Emmer, demanded an ethics investigation against Omar.
Minnesota newspapers got the speech translated from Somali, which was opposite in meaning to what she is accused of saying. She said in the correctly translated version: “My answer was the US government will do what we tell the US government to do. We as Somalis should have that confidence in ourselves. We live in this country. We pay taxes in this country. It’s a country where one of your own sits in Congress…The woman you sent to Congress is aware of you and has the same interest as you.”
In a reply to the storm that has been kicked up over her misquoted speech that had gone viral, Omar said, “This is a manufactured Congress based on an inaccurate translation taken entirely out of context.” She said the attacks were “not only false, they are rooted in xenophobia and Islamophobia.”
This is not the first time that Omar has been in the line of fire. She was removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee for her “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel” views. A group of progressive and young Democrats have been targeted by Republicans for their fearless views about fighting the growing conservatism in American polity. Omar, along with Palestinian American Rashida Tlaib, have been criticised for their criticism of Israel.