WASHINGTON: US Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher on Tuesday said that the Government of Pakistan was radical, and supported the Taliban, there by an enemy of the United States and freedom.
Rohrabacher made these statements while addressing a press conference on the subject of Balochistan at the National Press Club. Reps. Steve King and Rep. Louie Gohmert, who were co-sponsors of his house concurrent resolution on the right of self-determination for Baloch, accompanied him at the press conference.
Rep. Rohrabacher, who mispronounced Baloch as Bal-ook for the entirety of the press conference, dispelled allegations that he was being paid by a lobby or an individual for raising the cause of the Baloch people. He said that Pakistan was murdering women and children in Balochistan. He said that his trips to the region came from committee funds that were in turn financed by US taxpayers.
In response to a question, he said that he has also raised the issue of human rights in Kashmir in the past, and said that certain people were purposely raising the issue of Kashmir to deflect attention from the issue of Balochistan.
Rep. Rohrabacher, who is also the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, said that he was one of Pakistan’s best friends in the past. The US Congressman said, “Pakistan decided to be enemies of the US years ago.”
He said that during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Pakistan was sending money to radicals who hated the United States. He alleged that Pakistan has an “anti-American” relationship with China.
Congressman Louie Gohmert said that Pakistan was not only supporting the Taliban, but was also terrorising the Baloch. He said that the Baloch people wanted the right to freedom.
When asked about the statements by the Indian and US Government who have said that they support Pakistan’s territorial integrity, the Republican representative said that they are trying to change the US policy, and the Balochistan resolution was an effort to start a national debate on Balochistan.
Rep. Rohrabacher last month presented a resolution on giving Baloch the right to self-determination along with two co-sponsors in a House with 242 Republican members. The resolution was then referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The US State Department has maintained that the US respected Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Last month, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said, “Members of Congress introduce legislation on many foreign affairs topics, but they don’t in any way imply US Government endorsement of those positions, and we don’t generally comment on pending legislation.”