Balochistan: US Congressman Urges to Support Right to Self-determination in Pakistan
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore @Flickr
The Baloch people, as well as other Pakistani minorities, continuously face severe state-sponsored human rights violations, including killings and enforced disappearances. As a result of their struggle for independence, movements have been brutally repressed by the Pakistani security forces. US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher now called upon the US to no longer sit and watch but support the Baloch, Sindhis and other ethnic groups in their fight for the right to self-determination. He also pointed to the case of Bangladesh and emphasises the importance of the right of self-determination in relation to human rights.
The article below was published by The Time of India:
The US should support the Baloch people and other oppressed groups in Pakistan, who are being subject to grave human rights violations for demanding the right to self-determination, a senior American lawmaker has said.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said Pakistan needs to remember what happened in 1971, referring to developments in then East Pakistan which later on became Bangladesh after years of Pakistani human rights abuses and persecution of the local population.
Resource-rich Balochistan, Pakistan's largest but least populated province, has been wracked by a long-running separatist insurgency which has seen brutal repression by Pakistani security forces and enforced disappearances.
"When the people of Bangladesh wanted to be a little independent of the Pakistani government, have some way to control their own lives and control their own government, they were brutally repressed by the Pakistani government, and that is what led to, basically, the uprising of the people in Bangladesh when they freed themselves," Rohrabacher said yesterday in the US House of Representatives.
That same type of oppression is continuing not only against the Baloch, but also against the Muhajirs who came over from India after Partition, he said.
Rohrabacher said the Muhajirs do not want to be subjugated by "this corrupt, militaristic, pro-terrorist" government of Pakistan.
"We should be siding with people like that who want their independence and believe in these same values that we believe in," he said, adding, the US needs to be supporting the Baloch.
"The Baloch are also persecuted, mainly persecuted by the Pakistanis who have them under their thumb, and they murder people constantly," he alleged.
"This is the history of Pakistan. Right now they are doing it to the Baloch, to the Sindhis, you name it. You have got just a group of people, except for the Punjabis and then others, the Pashtuns, who control that government in Pakistan," Rohrabacher said.