US Election : Why are Pakistani-Americans Afraid Of Kamala Harris ?


Washington: It was believed about the Pakistani community settled in America that they would vote for the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential election. However, it has been difficult for many Pakistani-Americans to decide since Kamla Harris of Indian-African descent was appointed by the Democratic Party to the post of Vice-President.

Millions of Pakistani-Americans have been strongly opposed to Donald Trump. There is anger in the Pakistani-American community about Trump’s Islamophobia and Trump’s policy towards expatriates. In April 2019, when Pakistan refused to take back its citizens living illegally in the US, the Trump administration banned Pakistan. The US had also threatened to withhold the visas of many people, including Pakistan’s top officials.

Even the last time when Trump contested elections, Pakistani Americans were unanimous that hatred against Pakistan and Muslims would increase when Trump came. Many people of this community also said that no matter who the candidate is against Trump, they will not vote for Trump. Trump imposed a travel ban in 2017, most of which were Muslim countries. During this time, many Muslims faced difficulties in going to America. Although Pakistan was not named in this list, Pakistanis feared that the next number could be theirs. Due to Trump and Modi friendship, the American-Pakistani community is not in his support.

Despite all this, the Pakistani-American community is once again forced to think whether they should support Trump. The reason behind this is not Biden’s nomination as a Republican or a candidate for Democrats, but his choice as Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris.

Kamala Harris is the first African-American woman to become the Vice-Presidential candidate and her Indian heritage is also in the news. Kamala Harris’s mother Shyamala Gopalan was born in Chennai and came to America from India in 1960 for research work. His father Donald Harris is a noted economist. He came to America from Jamaica. Due to this identity of Kamla Harris, many Indians are excited and Pakistanis are disappointed.

If Biden wins the election, he will be the oldest President of America. That is, in the next election, Kamla Harris can also become the presidential candidate from the Democratic Party. That is, this election can be not only for the Vice-President but also for the next President of America.

Now Pakistani-Americans are concerned that Harris, who is an MP from California, may be biased if she is elected. Many also fear that Kamla Harris will give more attention to India than Pakistan if she wins the election. However, many analysts do not agree with this notion of Pakistanis.

“I don’t think Harris would keep distance from Pakistani-Americans because of his Indian identity,” says Michael Kuglaman, senior associate of South Ekhia at the Wilson Center and deputy director of the Asia program, to the Pakistani news channel Sama.

Biden of the Democratic Party has expressed his disappointment about the abolition of Article 370 from Kashmir in August 2019. Biden has also been a critic of India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Before the election, Biden has also issued a separate policy paper for American Muslims, in which he has clarified his policy on all issues including Kashmir. Apparently, on issues like Kashmir and citizenship law, the current President of America Donald Trump never made any comment against India outspokenly, while Biden’s stance can become a challenge for India.

Kamala Harris of Indian origin has made headlines many times for her views on Kashmir. When India’s Foreign Minister S.K. Jaishankar refused to meet Indian-origin MP Pramila Jaipal, Kamala Harris criticized it on Twitter. Jaipal had earlier presented a resolution on the Kashmir issue in the House of Representatives.

Kamala Harris also mentioned her Indian identity in the debate before the election of the Vice-President. She said that her mother’s influence has been the most on her personality. However, Kamala Harris identifies herself as African-American and Protestant Christian, not Indian-American and Hindu. Also, she had taken the oath in the Senate by considering the Bible as a witness.

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