“It is time Washington developed a closer friendship with India and, perhaps, Baluchistan”.
US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has stoutly defended the resolution he has introduced in the House of Representatives in support of the right to self-determination for the people of Baluchistan.
The Republican lawmaker, whose resolution is pending with the House Foreign Affairs Committee but has already triggered angry protests in Pakistan, argued on Sunday that his move was justified by the “horrific violations of human rights by Pakistan security forces in Baluchistan”.
“The US State Department, Amnesty International and other human rights groups have verified and denounced the extrajudicial killings, kidnappings, disappearances, illegal detention and torture being used by Pakistani authorities to suppress Baluch aspirations to control their own affairs,” he said in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post.
“I make no apology for submitting a resolution championing the oppressed people of Baluchistan in their deals with a Pakistani government that has betrayed our trust,” said Rohrabacher, whose resolution has been co-sponsored by two other Republican lawmakers, Louie Gohmert and Steve King.
Disagreeing with Pakistan’s condemnation of his proposed resolution as also others who believe it has harmed US-Pakistan relations, Rohrabacher asserted that “the real irritant to US-Pakistan relations is not my resolution but the policies of the Islamabad government and military”.
“We (the US) should not remain a silent partner to a Pakistani government that engages in monstrous crimes against its people and has been an accomplice to terrorist attacks on Americans, including those of September 11, 2001,” he wrote. “Islamabad has not only sheltered Al Qaeda but also provided a base of operations for the Taliban, who continue to kill Americans.”
Attacking Pakistan for thumbing its nose at the US even while receiving billions in American aid, Rohrabacher went to say: “It is time Washington stopped aiding Pakistan and developed a closer friendship with India and, perhaps, Baluchistan”.
Rohrabacher, who used to be an India-baiter till some years ago, said he was not singling out Pakistan, admitting that back in 1995 he had introduced a resolution blaming the Kashmir violence at that time on India’s “refusal to permit the people of Kashmir to exercise their right to self-determination”