Ro, Pakistan and Global Terror


Pakistan & Global Terrorism

The 9/11 terror attacks, masterminded by Osama bin Laden, left about 3000 Americans dead, and forced us to adjust our way of life. Those attacks were our first introduction to the role of Pakistan in fostering global terrorism.

Nineteen years after the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan continues to be under intense scrutiny for her continuous sponsorship of global terror; the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, has placed Pakistan in its gray list; there is a high chance of her being elevated to the black-list.

Pakistan’s Relationship with Osama bin Laden

After the 9/11 attacks Osama bin Laden was given shelter in Pakistan and stayed as a guest until he was killed by US Special Forces led by SEAL Team 6 in May of 2011. Osama’s mansion was in Abbottabad, located next to Pakistan Military Academy, Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point. Though Pakistan’s official position was that they were unaware of Osama’s presence right next to their West Point, our special forces raid to Abbottabad was a sore spot within Pakistan.

Ro Khanna and the Pakistani Caucus

In July 2019, after meeting Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ro Khanna joined the Congressional Pakistan Caucus to tackle terrorism, and protect women’s rights and human rights. 

Ro mentioned his excellent rapport with PM Khan; and how they both spoke in Hindustani during their meeting.

More than 230 Indian American Organizations Appeal to Ro Khanna

On September 15, 2019, a letter endorsed by more than 230 Indian American organizations was hand-delivered to Ro requesting him to reconsider his decision to join the Pakistani caucus and to take a position against minority persecution in Pakistan, nuclear brinkmanship, and her support to global terror organizations.

Ro Khanna, an Indian American, declined to withdraw from the Pakistani Caucus or issue any statement regarding minority persecution which is institutionalized in Pakistan or the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris by Pakistani sponsored terrorists which led to decades of turmoil. 

He also reaffirmed his plans to stay in the Pakistan caucus to influence our relationship with the country.

Imran Khan: "Americans.... Martyred Osama bin Laden"

In June 2020, the Prime Minister Imran Khan made a speech in the Pakistani Parliament where he said that the US martyred Osama bin Laden.

CBSNews: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan says the U.S. "martyred" Osama bin Laden

"I will never forget how we Pakistanis were embarrassed when the Americans came into Abbottabad and killed Osama Bin Laden, martyred him," Khan said.

A martyr, by definition, is someone killed for their religious beliefs — not for planning the deadliest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil. In the Muslim world, the word conveys a sense of heroism and nobility in death.

You can watch the video on Youtube.

Imran Khan: Osama bin Laden is like George Washington

This was not the first time where PM Imran Khan had eulogized Osama bin Laden, and declined to be critical of him.

BBC: Imran Khan criticised after calling Osama Bin Laden a 'martyr'

Mr Khan, a former cricketer, has previously been criticised as sympathetic towards the Taliban, and branded "Taliban Khan" by opponents.

In a TV interview  four years ago, Mr Khan refused to call Bin Laden a terrorist when pressed by the interviewer

You can watch the clip from that four year old interview here. PM Imran Khan compares Osama bin Laden to George Washington, and says that 

“George Washington was a terrorist for the British and a freedom fighter for the Americans” (paraphrased)

Ro’s Silence: Mum’s the Word

As part of the Pakistan Caucus, Ro was in a position to exert pressure on Pakistani government. His stated goal for joining the caucus was to tackle terrorism, and protect women’s rights and human rights. 

However, Ro Khanna, did not have the courage to express his displeasure at the lionization of the Global Terrorist #1, Osama bin Laden, by the Pakistani Prime Minister within the hallowed halls of her Parliament, the seat of the Pakistani Government.

Ro's silence is perplexing, especially since he continues to be a member of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus.

Ro's Soft Corner for Pakistan

As residents who actively supported Ro's campaigns in the past we are shocked at his unwillingness to take a stand against such provocative and disrespectful behavior by the Pakistani leadership.

This was in spite of an appeal to him by more than 230 different organizations spread all over the US who hand-delivered a letter to him.

This follows a pattern where Ro has consistently turned a blind  eye towards Pakistani transgressions, in spite of being a member of the Pakistani Caucus. He has been unwilling to criticize ethnic cleansing carried by Pakistani backed radical terrorists or Human Right violations in Pakistan or the Nuclear Brinkmanship by her leaders or the institutionalized discrimination against minorities.

Not in Our Name, Ro!

We can only speculate on why Ro has a soft corner for Pakistan; what's in it for him?

However, we strongly believe that a leader who can not take a stand even when Osama bin Laden is praised, lacks the requisite moral & ethical framework, and is unfit to be our Congressional representative.

This year it was Pakistani interests, in the future it could be some other entity which could be a lot more detrimental to American interests.

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