Sharp reaction: Pakistan erupts at US over Balochistan resolution

Published: February 19, 2012

PM says resolution violates sovereignty; diplomatic mission in the US warns of impact on ties, while Washington distances itself from bill.

PM says resolution violates sovereignty; diplomatic mission in the US warns of impact on ties, while Washington distances itself from bill. PM says resolution violates sovereignty; diplomatic mission in the US warns of impact on ties, while Washington distances itself from bill. PM says resolution violates sovereignty; diplomatic mission in the US warns of impact on ties, while Washington distances itself from bill. PM says resolution violates sovereignty; diplomatic mission in the US warns of impact on ties, while Washington distances itself from bill.
ISLAMABAD: 

Barely recovered from their last low point, the fragile relation between Pakistan and the US is under a dark cloud again – except this time Afghanistan and/or the Taliban have nothing to do with it.

In unison, Pakistan’s top leadership has strongly reacted to a resolution presented in the US House of Representatives – one that has gone as far as calling for self-determination for Balochistan.

“This resolution violates our sovereignty and we condemn it,” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani told reporters on Saturday in a televised interaction with the media in Karachi.

The resolution on Friday sponsored by Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher and two fellow Republicans said the Baloch people “have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country.”

However, there was no sign of significant support in the US Congress for the proposal by Rohrabacher, a long-time critic of Pakistan’s government.

On its part, the US government has distanced itself from the resolution. US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a daily press briefing, on Saturday: “We’re not seeking to interfere in their internal issues.”

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar described the proposal as an “isolated move by a few individuals”, and added it was contrary to the principles of the UN Charter and international law. “It was aimed to create distrust between the peoples of the two countries,” she said in a statement.

“This latest tendentious move will not be allowed to sail through the House by a vast majority of US Congressmen who continue to support friendly relations between the two countries,” Khar said.

He, too, expressed the belief that the US Congress would not pass the bill.

The Pakistan Embassy in Washington was also quick to condemn the move as “totally unacceptable” and warned that such “provocations” would seriously impact Pakistan-US relations.

A statement issued from the embassy said reminded the movers that Balochistan has a directly-elected provincial assembly of its own and has due representation in the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan.

The Pakistani embassy made it clear that “it is for the people of Pakistan and our democratic institutions to address these (issues).”

“We value this (US-Pakistan) relationship, but not at the cost of our dignity, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement warned.

Meanwhile, Federal Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the move was “expected” following the recent trilateral summit in Pakistan. “We were expecting such stunts in the wake of trilateral summit of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, as the three neighbouring countries have resolved to revive and promote their cultural, social and economic and trade relations,” she told reporters in Lahore.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani not only condemned the resolution, but also its mover. Rohrabacher, he said, has a controversial personality, according to an official statement released in Quetta.

“The so-called champions of human rights never thought to raise its voice for the self-determination of Palestine and Kashmir. They are not interested in the problem of Baloch people or seeking self-determination for them because all they want to pressurise Pakistan and enforce their influence in this region,” he said.

Rohrabacher also invited Pakistan’s ire a few days ago by convening a congressional hearing on Balochistan.

The administration of US President Barack Obama declined to send a representative to testify before Rohrabacher’s subcommittee and said it considered Balochistan a part of Pakistan.

“These hearings don’t necessarily imply that the US government endorses one view or another view,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said after the hearing. “We encourage all the parties in Balochistan to work out their differences peacefully and through a valid political process,” she had said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.

Reader Comments (24)

  • Zalim singh
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:24AM

    But does anybody care for what Baluchis need?

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  • baloch
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:25AM

    he he

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  • Malik
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:45AM

    Well, the real reason why USA is in Afghanistan is to create problems for Pakistan. And the main goal is to cut Balochistan from Pakistan so a route can be created to Afghanistan via Gawader. Through this USA will create problems for China, Russsia, Central Asian Countries, Iran and Pakistan. So China and Russia, it is time to wake up and create Naval Bases in Gwader quickly. Pakistan must fence the border with Afghanistan and monitor the area 24/7.

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  • A. Aftab
    Feb 19, 2012 - 10:53AM

    “We value this (US-Pakistan) relationship, but not at the cost of our dignity, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement warned.

    If we had dignity, we wouldn’t be $85 billion dollars in debt, with a population of 170 million, and an economy on Saudi/ U.S. life support.

    The single biggest threat to Pakistan is its exploding and out of control population and jahalat.

    Corruption, nepotism, military threats, ethnic strife and religious jahalat all take a back seat when it comes to our over population.

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  • lastlines
    Feb 19, 2012 - 12:33PM

    Washington distances itself from that ?? Who will believe that? Bacholistan is rich in natural resources. If the US manages to separate Bacholistan from Pakistan it means they will have free access to the wealth of it..this is what it is about and strategic location because they would be able to have bases of operation there..The US never has any interest in people, it does not even care about the people in its own country..But the world is mostly blind and have lost the ability to think..Do not even for one split second believe that the US has peoples best interest at heart, because to them a person has less worth than a penny.

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  • Salman Lodhi
    Feb 19, 2012 - 1:07PM

    I wonder how the above comment of “he he ” got approved….

    what insight it provides for this article ?

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Feb 19, 2012 - 1:28PM

    Where is Hafiz Saeed to launch the Difa-e-Pakistan deep into Balochistan?

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  • A2Z
    Feb 19, 2012 - 1:32PM

    @Salman Lodhi:
    it’s their time to laugh now.
    you instill in them patriotism but but never provide anything so they can themselves call themselves pakistanis with pride.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 1:48PM

    Supply routs are still closed,reaction was expected before and now trilateral meeting ignited American brain which consider this conference against its international interests.

    This is a only way remained,so they have adopted.and tried their best to pressurize Pakistan to come to the point and inclined to open the supply rout closed after killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers.

    No doubt, there are some elements involved in the revolt but to very little extend.it had been created during the Bhutto’s tenor and thereafter military ruler general Musharraf had to face the same circumstances but he succeeded to control on them.

    Once again they there has been ignited by fragile government in center and the differences with provinces.Armed forces is already busy in operation against them and control on them ,It is a matter of days.

    Overall situation compelled some American brains taking benefit from it so tabled the resolution in the congress and congress would never adopt the resolution because the statement of ambassador and the president has appeared in the world media according to which America is not in favor of Balochistan separation.

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  • Real Baluchi
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:05PM

    hafiz Saeed let’s show those Indian terrorist who are active in Baluchistan an expensive lesson, Please ….. the people of Baluchistan are begging for your help..
    Please come

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 2:06PM

    General amnesty be announced,
    invited all annoyed Bloch leaders to All Parties Conference,
    be heard their reservations and in this way control the situation.
    All the provinces should provide assistance and cooperation to the center
    in this connection.for well being of Pakistan.

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  • A. Aftab
    Feb 19, 2012 - 2:47PM

    The only way out of this dangerous situation for Pakistan is to allow full autonomy for the Baloch, bring them into the mainstream, quickly join the SCO, declare a joint defense pact with China & Iran, and stop our dependence on corrupt and enslaving Western systems of economics.

    We need to start trading with China, Iran and Russia in our currency or the Rial, Rouble or Yuan, and request them to help us get relief from our $85 billion in debt.

    Systematically wean ourselves off the corrupt western IMF and World Bank.

    If the Saudi’s threaten us, then so be it gents……..Our new source of oil and gas should be the mammoth Iranian and Russian Oil & Gas reserves, and Ahmadinejad’s offer is on the table for us. The Russians have already indicated that the TAPI pipelinistan Project is viable, and we should take up that offer.

    Time to leave the Saudi/ Yahoodi/ Hillbilly alliance………It’s become a disgrace and a serious liability for us now.

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  • ahmed baloch
    Feb 19, 2012 - 3:22PM

    @Real Baluchi: No real balochi will write his name as real balochi. And also no real balochi will call indians as terrorist.

    You should read the situation and respect baloch identity. By this manner you are making fun of pakistan bcoz Expree Tribune and dawn are the only news papers of pakistan which are read in India and also in west. You should not make fun of pakistan.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 4:52PM

    It is essential to note with care,what is being said on behalf of the Ambassador of the united states.he refused to comments on the resolution but add that United states respects Pakistan’s interests and not interested in any game which goes against Pakistan’s integrity.
    We should keep in mind his comments or remark on the issue and move forward.

    On the other hand,Government in the center should consider the issues or problems being faced by people of Balochistan.
    No doubt, Balochistan is a part of Pakistan and have representation in the national Assembly,there is provincial government which is a sign of people will.

    But inspite of it is need of the time to consider the problem and try to understand the real will of those participating such activities which not support country’s integrity.

    Natural resources belong to Balochistan and income on it,Balochistan has legal and constitutional right on it.

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  • Feb 19, 2012 - 5:35PM

    A famous baloch leader was killed during the military operation at tunnel in Balochistan.
    Secondly head of ANP was arrested and tried subsequently released.
    Question herein is that what is behind the unrest in the province?particular elements or federal government?
    There are chances of foreign interference.Conspiracies are being hatched.This option can not be overlooked.
    According to my considered opinion,shouldn’t level allegations against others,why we impose blames on others,search the elements responsible for revolt or unrest inside the corridors or in public in the form of so called leaders.
    There must be justice at the time of distribution of share in the collective economy of the country.Injustice shouldn’t be committed in national affairs at any cost.

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  • Cautious
    Feb 19, 2012 - 6:24PM

    LOL — pretty clear that Balochistan is your Achilles heel and it’s also clear that this Congressmen has touched on something that has an element of truth. Fortunately for your the House of Representatives has 435 voting members and most of them could care less about this issue. Non the less it should be a lesson on “soft power” – with a slight nudge America has the ability to create large waves.

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  • Demba Ba
    Feb 19, 2012 - 6:29PM

    why we can’t Balochistan slip away. They’re going to end up worse than Bangladesh. There’s sooo much illiteracy in this region. I’m not Baloch but I personally know Baloch minsters etc. and can say that they’re pretty corrupt. You own leaders who talk about freeing you of Pakistani “tyranny” are themselves corrupt. I do recognize that we haven’t treated Balochis the right way and it frustrates me. Balochistan is 6% of the country (populationwise) and get 9% of the resources, which I think is fair. We just need to solve the “missing persons” case and restore peace by removing our military. Recommend

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    Feb 19, 2012 - 8:36PM

    Road to Kashmir resolution goes through Baluchistan. It seems finally India is walking the talk. You create trouble in Kashmir and we pay you back in same coin in Baluchistan. Russians haven’t forgotten what Pakistan did to them in Afghanistan and will never support Pakistan. China will support only to the extent that her trade with USA and Europe is not affected. Iran and Saudi politics will keep Pakistan confused. Having bitten thrice, Indians will never trust Pakistan. Only salvation for Pakistan is to put her house in order and behave like a civilized nation. Stop supporting terrorist organizations like LeT etc. Days of fooling all the people all the time are over.

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  • @Rajendra
    Feb 19, 2012 - 9:18PM

    There are no Hindus in Baluchistan. Baluchistan is not connected to India. The United Nations have not passed any resolutions on India.

    India is illegally occupying Kashmir.

    Expel all US diplomats and cut relations. Americans are mere front-men for Israel and India.

    Patriots for Pakistan – not corrupt old men.Recommend

  • hafeez.indian
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:00PM

    @@Rajendra:

    Don’t try to equate Balochistan and Kashmir.

    Differences:

    No missing people’s list in Kashmir. No killing on Political Activists. Locals are not fighting with GOI. It was the cooly militants fighting.

    Similarities:

    Baloch is the province of Pakistan. Kashmir is the prvince of India.

    Baloch and Kashmir have elected governments by People.

    Insha allah India will suceed in all the efforts. Long live India !!!

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  • Abrar
    Feb 19, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Bill is in House fereign Affairs committee.The authors are influential senators very active in the region.They have very friendly contacts with the opposiotion alliance in Afghanistan that opposes a reconcilliation approach in that country.

    Pakistans should bring those responsible for murder of Bugti to trial and sentence them accordingly.

    Weed out foreign agents in Balochistan.There are atleast three foreign agencies active in the province,recruiting unemployed locals to commit sabotage and other anti state activities.There are a few sardars who are helping the agencies like they helped the British imperialists to keep their estates.

    Any funding for development and education should be through elected officials independant of the sardars.They should be given protection by the provincial goverment and the State security.

    An enlightened,prosperous and secure Balochistan is an enlightened,prosperous and secure Pakistan

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  • Truth
    Feb 20, 2012 - 1:19AM

    What’s the big deal. If Pakistani leaders don’t give a damn about Pakistan why such a hue and cry if their gods are raising the issue. It’s nothing but hypocrisy.

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  • Salim Nasser
    Feb 21, 2012 - 8:47PM

    It is time that Balochistan and Sindh become independant countries. Then Punjab can thrive and bloosm as never before. The atom bombs are a threat to Pakistan´s people, so we should get rid of them before they get into wrong hands.Recommend

  • Feb 26, 2012 - 4:43AM

    Sparsely populated ( only 6 percent of Pak population live in Baloch povince). More Balochs like me live out of Balochistan and More of non Balochs live in the integral part Baloch province of Pakistan.

    So, I as sincere Baloch Pakistani and with majority Balochs thinking like me Baloch, we Balochs love our dear Pakistan. We Balochs are proud to be Pakistanis and will stay as Balochs in Baloch province of Pak for time far beyond for ever.

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