US Congresswoman Ilhan Abdullah Omar arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday. During her stay in Pakistan, she will visit Azad Kashmir as well.
Omar, who will stay in Pakistan till April 24, is scheduled to visit Lahore and meet the country’s new leadership.
Omar, 37, is a Democrat and represents the State of Minnesota in Congress, and one of the two Muslim women elected to the US Congress in 2018.
In the wee hours of Wednesday, Omar reached the capital city, where Foreign Office’s DG America Mohammad Mudassir Tipu received her.
Omar has staunchly supported Kashmiris in Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and has often tweeted her support.
In 2019 after the annexation of Kashmir by India, Omar had called for an immediate restoration of communication; respect for human rights, democratic norms, and religious freedom; and de-escalation in Kashmir, saying that the international organisations should be allowed to fully document what is happening on the ground.
Omar represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives, which includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs.
An experienced Twin Cities policy analyst, organiser, public speaker and advocate, Omar was sworn into office in January 2019, making her the first African refugee to become a Member of Congress, the first woman of colour to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress.
Born in Somalia, she and her family fled the country’s civil war when she was eight. The family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in the 1990s. In 1997, she moved to Minneapolis with her family. As a teenager, Omar’s grandfather inspired her to get involved in politics. Before running for office, she worked as a community educator at the University of Minnesota, was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and served as a Senior Policy Aide for the Minneapolis City Council.
In 2016 she was elected as the Minnesota House Representative for District 60B, making her the highest-elected Somali-American public official in the United States and the first Somali-American State Legislator. Rep. Omar served as the Assistant Minority Leader, with assignments to three house committees; Civil Law and Data Practices Policy, Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy and Finance, and State Government Finance.