Damage control: US lawmakers reject Balochistan resolution

Published: February 24, 2012

Visiting delegation meets Prime Minister Gilani, Senate chairman. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: 

As clamour over Balochistan grows, US Congressmen visiting Pakistan attempted to turn down the heat on Thursday, and insisted that Washington does not support an “independent Balochistan, and respects Pakistan’s territorial integrity.”

At a meeting with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, a US bipartisan congressional delegation led by David Dreier insisted that both Republicans and Democrats were against the resolution recently tabled in the US Congress on Balochistan.

The US government has already dissociated itself from a resolution introduced by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, chairperson of a sub-committee on oversight and investigations of the US House of Foreign Affairs Committee, seeking the ‘right of self-determination of Baloch people.’

This is the first time, however, that both Republicans and Democrats have come up with a categorical denunciation of the move.

“I want to convey to the people, and the government of Pakistan, that US is committed to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan,” said Congressman Dreier.

“We do not support an independent Balochistan and only support a united Pakistan,” the congressman added.

The congressional delegation also met Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek.

The visit by US congressmen is seen as ‘soft resumption’ of bilateral cooperation that was damaged by last year’s Nato airstrikes on Pakistani check posts along the Afghan border that killed 24 soldiers.

According to an official statement, Premier Gilani told the US Congressmen that Pakistan wanted to have ‘excellent relations with the US’ but it was important to follow a partnership approach based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

Pakistan supports an ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ reconciliation process, the premier added.

“It is important that Afghanistan, Pakistan and US were on the same page and worked together to promote national reconciliation, peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Gilani added.

Sources say the prime minister also raised the issue of recent burning of copies of the Holy Quran at a US military base in Afghanistan.

“Such shameful acts will certainly make it difficult for the Pakistani government to support the US,” Gilani was quoted as telling the American lawmakers.

Sources said the US delegation brought up the issue of Nato supplies that Pakistan has suspended since the November 26 incident.

The congressmen wanted Pakistan to take a decision to reopen key supply routes at the earliest, sources added.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • John B
    Feb 24, 2012 - 10:46AM

    And no discussion about OBL?

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  • Feb 24, 2012 - 11:49AM

    Vienna,February 24,2012
    Pressure tactics, pressure tactics and more pressure tactics.
    As mentioned the Pakistan establishment toika is being tamed.
    Being tamed from North Sahara Maghreb to the Extended
    Middle East Pakistan, take it seriously. The slow process is
    intended to avoid mass killings. The target however is meant
    to be met.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • ashok sai
    Feb 24, 2012 - 12:01PM

    Clever diplomacy, damage has been already done (for the right cause), mission accomplished and well done.

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  • pakistanibaloch
    Feb 24, 2012 - 12:16PM

    we knew it !!!! pakistan zindabad…

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  • Zeta
    Feb 24, 2012 - 1:17PM

    @John B:
    Tell that to delegation next time. Perhaps it isn’t important issue now to US but still is for indian rights?

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  • Mr T
    Feb 24, 2012 - 1:43PM

    @ashok sai:
    You’re right. Now we can stare right into the eyes of the Americans and ask them why don’t they use the same logic for Indian Occupied Kashmir… Haha… Thank you American Congressmen. Thank you

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  • faraz
    Feb 24, 2012 - 2:31PM

    I see Indians very active on such topics. I believe Indian intelligence agencies have joined hands with CIA and other foreign agencies in Baluchistan. Be assured, Kashmir issue is not resolved yet and it can heat up any time beyond your imagination.

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  • STRIVER
    Feb 24, 2012 - 3:07PM

    Deception is synonymous with diplomacy as lies is with propoganda. Let’s not be deceived by this ‘damage-control’ visit. The issue will be brought up again. What is needed is a drive t arrest those handfull of terrorists who think they own Balochistan. A revenge driven single tribe does not make a Balochistan.

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  • Baloch44
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:16PM

    The US should mind their own business. Baluchistan is and always will be a part of Pakistan. Inshaa Allah.

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  • Calypso
    Feb 24, 2012 - 6:43PM

    @ashok sai:
    Keep dreaming, dude! That’s the thing that keep us united no matter what. Proud people of balochistan would rather go for a holocaust than having to be responsible for accomplishing an indian’s dreams. Long live united Pakistan!

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  • Cautious
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:43PM

    “Such shameful acts will certainly make it difficult for the Pakistani government to support the US,” Gilani was quoted as telling the American lawmakers.
    .
    So whats new? American has 300 million people and no doubt a few of those American’s are doing something daily that offends Pakistan — Pakistan seems to spend inordinate time and effort farrowing out any activity which you deem offensive and then uses it to justify your Anti American bias.
    .
    The General responsible for the troops has apologized – the President of the USA has apologized and the troops themselves are being held responsible. Burning the Quran isn’t condoned by the American govt or the American military and Pakistan conveniently forgets that there are millions of American citizens that are Muslim.

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  • M
    Feb 24, 2012 - 9:52PM

    @Baloch44 and PakistaniBaloch you guys are spot on. Pakistanis first. Yes there are grievances but thats where nations come together and solve them amicably. All of Pakistan belongs to Balochistan and its people and vice versa. As for sai, you can’t even imagine the way Kashmir issue is getting out of the hands of the indians.

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  • nako murad baloch
    Feb 24, 2012 - 10:37PM

    we balochi r/pakitani first and balochi second.

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  • gp65
    Feb 24, 2012 - 11:30PM

    @faraz: “I see Indians very active on such topics. I believe Indian intelligence agencies have joined hands with CIA and other foreign agencies in Baluchistan.”

    I usually find most of your comments very reasonable. I could folow your thought process here. If Indian individuals are active on a blog message board related to Balochistan, that means RAW and CIA are collaborating against Pak in Balochistan? How did you get there?

    In US at least a resolution was intrduced. though it was not passsed no did administration support it. In India neither judiciary nor parliament nor executive have said anything in support of Balochistan and against Pak interity. What is the basis of your conclusion then?

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