In the packed Room 2200 of the Rayburn Office Building, members of the House Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations heard human rights activists and scholars detail human rights abuses in Balochistan.
The hearing was chaired by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who last week introduced a bill in the House of Representatives asking the US to give citizenship to Dr Shakil Afridi, the man who allegedly helped the US in tracking down Osama bin Laden.
In his opening remarks, Rep Rohrabacher said that Balochistan is a turbulent land marked by human rights violations “by regimes that are against US values”.
In its submitted testimony to the committee, Amnesty International’s Advocacy Director T Kumar said that they called on the US to “apply the Leahy Amendment without waivers to all Pakistani military units in Balochistan.”
Ali Dayan Hasan, the Pakistan director for Human Rights Watch (HRW), in his submitted remarks, said that cases documented by the HRW show that Pakistan’s security forces and its intelligence agencies were involved in the enforced disappearance of ethnic Baloch.
The HRW representative asked the US government in his recommendations to “communicate directly to the agencies responsible for disappearances and other abuses including the army, ISI, IB, Frontier Corps, police and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, to demand an end to abuses.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012.