American concerns: US Congressional hearing on Balochistan today

Three-member panel to have an exclusive discussion on the ongoing crisis.

News Desk February 08, 2012

The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs is set to convene a congressional hearing on Wednesday (February 8), for an exclusive discussion for the first-time ever on Balochistan.

The event which will be closely monitored by Islamabad will be chaired by Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who recently co-authored an article with Congressman Louie Gohmert expressing support for an independent Balochistan.

Interestingly, the testimony of Georgetown assistant professor C Christine Fair, who is a member of the three-member panel of witnesses, was uploaded on the internet on Tuesday. In her testimony, Fair has highlighted the government of Pakistan’s ‘extractive policies’ over the decades to keep an ‘ironclad control over the state’.

The professor has gone on to emphasise the ongoing human rights violations in Balochistan and the government’s decision to ‘pursue military action, involving the forced disappearances of youths with no criminal records and the elimination of Baloch tribal leaders’. In her testimony, Fair will also seek to poke holes in the Pakistani state’s argument that military and paramilitary action is justified because Baloch tribal leaders are irreconcilable to the state with research that found that any conciliatory move by government led to a decline in militant attacks.

Fair, who will present a number of recommendations, will not ‘entertain’ any proposal for an independent Balochistan, saying that ‘given the ethnic diversity of the province, its complicated history, and the existing geographic constraints, an independent Balochistan is untenable’.

However, the professor has mentioned the implementation of certain government programmes such as the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan to help the province within the constitutional framework of Pakistan, adding that ‘the US with its partners can use select instruments of its national powers to encourage Pakistan to do the right thing’.

The two other members of the panel include defence analyst Ralph Peters and Pakistan Director of the Human Rights Watch Ali Dayan Hasan.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2012.

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Moose | 9 years ago | Reply

It is quite obvious that Balochistan has been invaded by foreign terrorist to cause chaos and these are not Pakistanis. The biggest suspect being India with the same old goal to destabalize Pakistan. History speaks for itself. There is a big foreign hand at play! So the inhuman drama goes on . . .

butt jee | 9 years ago | Reply

@Mazar Khan baloch: If we keep our emotions aside for a while then we shall be able to think rationally. Baloch people talk of their rights, no doubt they should be given whatever is possible and rights of every citizen of Pakistan should be looked after. We must realize that our minds have been polluted by the enemy propaganda. Whenever we have Indian influence in Afghanistan we start having problem in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtoon khawa. The only period during which we did not have any trouble in these provinces was the period when Afghans were fighting against the Soviet Union because the Indians had left Afghanistan. The problem with the Muslims all over the world is that instead of resolving our internal problems among ourselves, we start dancing to the tunes of our enemies and provide them the opportunity to exploit our differences. First of all the Indian and American agents started killing the non Baloch people in Baluchistan to create rift between the locals and non locals. When this did not work then they started killing teachers and doctors to destroy the peace of the province. When that too did not satisfy them then these Indian Agents have started killing the Baloach nationalists and started blaming the security agencies of Pakistan. We should not fall into this trap laid by the our enemies. We must remember that under no circumstances our own security agencies will ever kill its own people. It is all the propaganda of our enemies because the enemy wants to create haterad between the people and the security agencies to implement their own nefarious designs.

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