US congressman David Dreier has said that the views of one man do not represent that of the entire state, and that most US lawmakers do not agree with earlier expressed views regarding Balochistan.
David, who is also the chairman of the House Democracy Partnership and the House Rules Committee, was speaking on the issue of Balochistan and the resolution moved at the US House of Representatives.
“I believe that the statement of one member is not indicative of the overwhelming will of the US Congress or of the government,” he said, while speaking to reporters at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS).
Congressman David Dreier is leading a US congressional delegation to Pakistan, which is the first ever high-profile visit from the US after the Salala incident plunged relations between the two countries to a new low. Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed at the Salala check post by US planes in November last year.
In a strong reaction to the incident, Islamabad blocked Nato supply routes in the country and canceled a number of bilateral visits.
Replying to a question, Dreier said “the Salala attack was a sad incident”. He said military men and women both in Pakistan and US are courageous people, and the loss of lives of those who are focused on security was horrifying.
“We are deeply saddened, but it is a very complex situation keeping in view the challenge at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan; there is uncertainty at this border.”
He said, “We continue to condole those families who lost their relatives in this incident, but it is important for us to move ahead. I believe that this high level visit from the US, at the invitation of the government of Pakistan, is a clear indication of the desire to build these relations once again.”
He added that it would help in ensuring the goals of providing jobs, security, progress and prosperity in Pakistan.
Further talking about the Pak-US relations, he admitted that difficulties do exist.
“We have a common enemy, which is radical elements who want to kill innocent citizens, and we are determined to do everything possible to bring that to an end. It is the universal right of people to believe they can live in peace and security.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2012.