WASHINGTON: Taking a strong exception to a United States Congressional hearing on Balochistan this week, Pakistan has termed it an “ill-advised” move that would be detrimental to the trust between Pakistan and the United States of America.
A Pakistan Embassy spokesman in Washington said that Pakistan’s Ambassador Sherry Rehman raised the issue of an exclusive hearing on Balochistan by US House Committee on Foreign Affairs in her meetings with the members of congress and senior officials of the US administration.
According to the spokesman, Rehman said that the government of Pakistan strongly rejects the purpose and findings of the hearing and considers it an “ill-advised and ill-considered” move that will have serious repercussions for Pakistan-US relations.
“Balochistan is an integral part of the Pakistan,” the ambassador said. “Pakistan is a democracy conducting itself in accordance with the international law.”
Sherry said that the elected parliament, the Balochistan assembly, the independent judiciary, a vigorous media and a thriving civil society are avenues for expression and seeking redress of political and economic grievances.
“The government is strongly committed to protecting the fundamental rights and freedom in all parts of Pakistan, including Balochistan, and has initiated an extensive programme of constitutional and other reforms to empower all citizens in the continuing consolidation of democracy,” she said.
She said that the hearing was marked by a “blatant disregard for the history of the issue and manipulated selective facts”.
“It is deeply regrettable that the legislature of a country that calls itself a friend of Pakistan allowed itself to be used as a platform for advocating the dismemberment of Pakistan and provided justification to terrorists attempting to hold Balochistan, and Pakistan, hostage,” the envoy said.
“Pakistan views this hearing with a serious concern and considers it unacceptable. “This kind of an exercise constitutes interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. The hearing will be detrimental to mutual trust and confidence,” the envoy said.