WASHINGTON: US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has written a letter to the Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano asking why Noordin Mengal, a member of Peoples Organisation for Balochistan was denied entry to the US in 2008.
In a press release titled “Rep. Rohrabacher to DHS: Don’t Use Visas as Political Weapon Against Balochs (sic)” that was sent from his DC press office, the Republican Congressman has mentioned that Noordin
Mengal, a British Citizen, was also denied visa to the US in 2010 to address a university event on human rights in Balochistan. In his letter, Rep. Rohrabacher said that Noordin Mengal had been denied entry at Newark’s Liberty Airport in 2008, and was subsequently “put on a flight out of the US.”
In his letter to Secretary Napolitano, Rep. Rohrabacher said that the US government needs to “end its partnership with the ISI in repressing the Balochi people. We must allow eligible Balochi leaders
to come to the US.” He added that the “people of Balochistan oppose the Mullah regime in Iran and the military dictatorship in Islamabad.”
The Congressman said that he felt that Mengal was barred from entering the US in order to not offend the Pakistan Government.
“The people of Balochistan are not the enemy of the US; they are our allies in the region,” said Rohrabacher. “We should not be throwing roadblocks against the enemies of our enemies by denying them entry in the United States.”
Rep. Rohrabacher is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Earlier this year he chaired a Congressional hearing on the human rights situation in Balochistan. He has also introduced legislation calling for Dr Shakil Afridi to be given US citizenship and be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for this ‘services’ in leading the CIA to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad.
In February this year, Rep. Rohrabacher introduced a House Concurrent Resolution asking for Balochistan to be given the right of self determination.
Tara Setmayer, Communications Director for Rep. Rohrabacher, told The Express Tribune, “we don’t know if he was on a list. Any US or UK citizen can be stopped at the border of either the UK or the US and asked some questions concerning their reasons for entering the country.” Explaining why Mengal required a visa if he was citizen of a country which enjoyed waiver, she said, “he was turned back in 2008 when he tried to enter the US under the visa waiver program. Once he was turned back, he became ineligible for the visa waiver program, even though he held a British passport. In 2010 he applied for a non-immigrant visa and was rejected.”