Who is Massod Khan? All you need to know about Pakistan’s pick as next ambassador to US and controversy surrounding him

The United States has delayed the appointment of Masood Khan, the next Pakistani ambassador, due to alleged terror ties. This is a major setback for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration.

 

Congressman Scott Perry has encouraged President Joe Biden to reject Masood’s appointment, calling him a “terror sympathiser.”

Masood Khan’s selection, according to Congressman Perry, is a “breathtaking lack of judgment at best” and “a demonstration of Islamabad’s unadulterated contempt for the United States at worst.” ” While I am happy that the State Department has allegedly put a hold on Masood Khan’s appointment as Pakistan’s new ambassador, a hold is not enough.

I urge you to reject any diplomatic credentials presented to you by Masood Khan and reject any effort by the Government of Pakistan to install this jihadist as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States,” Scott Perry said in his letter to Biden.

Perry said that Masood Khan has praised both terrorists and foreign terrorist organisations – including Hizbul Mujahideen – in stark and unsettling terms.

“He has encouraged young men to emulate jihadists like Burhan Wani, a former commander of Hizbul Mujahideen who dedicated his life to a holy war against India. In 2017, Khan lashed out at the United States for designating the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen for sanctions, calling those sanctions unjustifiable.

In 2019, Khan willingly appeared alongside Fazlur Rehman Khalil, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) who is the founder of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), a US-designated foreign terrorist organisation,” the US lawmaker added.

In the letter, Perry further explained how the Ambassador-designate Masood Khan is a supporter of the terrorist groups Jamaat-e-Islami, as well as Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a group that had no qualms establishing a partnership with the foreign terrorist organization responsible for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Reportedly, Masood Khan’s nomination was sent to Washington by Pakistan Foreign Office in November last year. However, media reports say the US had deliberately delayed the approval of Pakistan’s ambassador-designate posting in Washington and sought more time for his approval.

Know more about Masood Khan:

The 70-year-old is a native of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He was born in Rawalakot, the capital of Poonch district.

According to a report in The Print, Khan joined the foreign service in Pakistan in 1980 and went on to serve in various positions. He was the spokesperson of the foreign ministry from 2003-2005. He later became Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2005-2008. He also served as ambassador to China from 2008-2012 and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York from 2012-2015.

Khan was also appointed as the 27th president of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for the period between August 2016 to August 2021.

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