US to open consulate in Balochistan, says Patterson

Published: September 2, 2010
US Ambassador Anne W Patterson addresses a press conference in Quetta. PHOTO:PPI

US Ambassador Anne W Patterson addresses a press conference in Quetta. PHOTO:PPI

QUETTA: US Ambassador in Pakistan, Anne W Patterson has said that an American consulate will be set up in Quetta to oversee the development activities carried out by the Americans in Balochistan.

“The consulate will be set up to monitor the development activities being carried out by the US in Balochistan. It will also ensure a close liaison between the Baloch people and the US, and would provide visa facility to the people of Balochistan,” she said, while refuting the allegation that the consulate was intended to monitor activities in Iran and Afghanistan at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Patterson, accompanied by the American Consul General Karachi William Martin, also denied former prime minister Mir Zaffarullah Khan Jamali’s allegation that the floodwaters were diverted to Naseerabad in Balochistan to save the Shabaz airbase.

“It is mere fabrication and untrue,” she remarked, adding that the US government, in accordance with the senior Pakistani officials had already denied it.

She also took an aerial view of the flood-ravaged areas in Jaffarabad and was accompanied by Minister Rahila Durrani, who happens to be a focal person for Balochistan’s flood relief. She remarked that the floods have caused massive devastation in Balochistan, and in the other parts of Pakistan.

While commenting on US flood relief efforts, she said that their government was the first entity to respond to Pakistan’s flood devastation, and was the largest donor with S200 million pledged. She said that the donation was being spent through United Nations’ agencies like the World Food Program, World Health Organisation and Unicef to ensure that it reaches the right people.

“All possible steps should be taken to maintain transparency in distribution of relief goods and other necessities of life to the flood victims,” she maintained.

She further said that 15 US military helicopters were currently involved in the rescue and relief activities to help the flood survivors, adding that 10,000 people had so far been rescued. She said that many C-130 aircraft were moved from Afghanistan in connection with the relief activities and the number of US helicopters and aircraft would increase in the coming days.

Dispelling the impression of the trust deficit, she said that they had provided $1 million to the Benazir Income Support Programme, and were already coordinating with different organisations in the Pakistani government.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2010.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Zulfiqar
    Sep 2, 2010 - 10:33AM

    And to also support, fund and arm BLA and other separatist groups.Recommend

  • Sep 2, 2010 - 1:32PM

    This is a bad news for me. We have already heard about the separation of Baluchistan and some freedom movements are also working there which are being more powerful and united day by day specially after Nawab Akbar Bugti. What is America’s hidden agenda behind starting consulate in Baluchistan. Are they really interested to monitor development activites there in baluchistan OR want to develop new actvities. We need to think! atleast i am worried.Recommend

  • Abbas
    Sep 2, 2010 - 1:54PM

    to monitor activities in Iran……..their dream…..Recommend

  • Copper
    Sep 2, 2010 - 1:58PM

    This will mean Goodbye to Balochistan (both Iranian Balochistan and Pakistani Balochistan)..Remember Iran captured Abdulmalik Rigi the plane travelling from Afghanistan he claimed to be funded by USA. Both Jandullah and BLA operates from Afghanistan under the nose of USARecommend

  • Yasir Qadeer
    Sep 2, 2010 - 2:21PM

    Every country has a right to open up a consulate in any province of a friendly country to facilitate its citizens who would want to visit the guest country. We should stop hatching conspiracies for once.Recommend

  • Hira Mir
    Sep 2, 2010 - 2:47PM

    The gap between U.S. and Pak is decreasing as time moves on. This is a positive sign that the people of Pakistan have begun to trust its allies more which is a step closer to victory over the Taliban.Recommend

  • Eeman
    Sep 2, 2010 - 4:07PM

    Now that’s a big news. What about giving the whole Pakistan to U.S, as it’s our head master standing on our heads all the time — monitoring us whether we’re doing our class work properly or not? I’m all for making Pakistan a 51st U.S’ state.Recommend

  • Ali Farooqui
    Sep 2, 2010 - 4:46PM

    Here we go .. I smell something fishy, call me a conspiracy theorist but this is the same America who shuts down Karachi embassy for YEARS because of security risk and it suddenly thinks Baluchistan is safe for an embassy with the BLA treason going on and everything else.. I better get my self mentally prepared for another 1971Recommend

  • Bunty
    Sep 2, 2010 - 4:53PM

    “Monitor”……thats a suspicous word. Recommend

  • Sep 2, 2010 - 5:33PM

    Maligned and nefarious conspiracy I say!Recommend

  • Zafar nari
    Sep 2, 2010 - 10:30PM

    close tie with Baloch people and Pakistan…good…..Baloch people are dreaming for independent Recommend

  • Sep 3, 2010 - 12:52AM

    No, we should not allow US to open any more consulate anywhere in Pakistan. The reason is that they are not allay or friends of Pakistanis.We have to go to Islamabad from Sindh to get a visa which in most cases are denied.They have a consulate in Karachi which has not been working for long time, they give false reasons, so do you think they have any good reason to open a consulate in Baluchistan. They want to get there to monitor and create methods to undo our motherland.Folks realize now or you will regret later. If our own Government cannot feed us how do you think US will, moreover we need to stand on our own feet for our own problems. We do not need US, they need to leave, since they arrived here on false pretext, they have created more problems for us. US,Israel and indian nexus is behind all the problems in this country. Lets tell them to go home and serve their own people who are in need of help now.Recommend

  • shahid
    Sep 3, 2010 - 12:58AM

    as v pakis love 2 go 2 america ———-our ever dstrict headquater should have consulate,
    thanks usa for facility .Recommend

  • Sep 3, 2010 - 1:14AM

    ONLY the Will of GOD prevails, people might dream, think and plan what ever they want but remember only the Will of God will prevail. It does not matter why or who wants what, for any person who was a bad fugitive or for free money from enemies. The cause must be strong, and who cannot help himself God does not help them for any wrong cause. People who do not work and are lazy do not deserve anything. The government can change but the condition of masses will only change if they work for themselves. The last sixty five years proves that we are lazy and look to others to feed while we sit on our hunches.We still have Mir Jaffar and and Saadiqs. learn lessons and think right and stop blaming the government for neglecting, wrong, people have neglected themselves.Recommend

  • Majeed
    Sep 4, 2010 - 9:26AM

    Lo jee!Recommend

  • Khan
    Sep 4, 2010 - 9:26AM

    Goodbye Balochistan Recommend

  • Baluch
    Sep 4, 2010 - 8:09PM

    I think it is about time that USA can facilitate people of Balochistan with saving them the hessle of travelling to Islamabad for visa’s etc… Besides Baloch people protect and respect any friendly moves by all Nations in the World. We Baloch would like to invite all the countries in the world to open embassies in Quetta. Why not, after all with Pakistani passport we do require consulate services of all countries!!! This way at least we can save few thousand Rs. to spend it on our tour abroad rather then travelling to embassies within Pakistan…Recommend

  • Sep 4, 2010 - 11:53PM

    There is an American base in Balochistan in the small town of Dalbandin, which is on your way if you travel from Quetta to Taftan. So already Iran’s activities are being monitored from this base. This base also acts as the launching pad for American drones. Another important base is in Jacobabad, which is now shut down partially due to flood threats. So a consulate will help Americans coordinate their much hated activities in Balochistan. They will also be able to launch campaigns against the state of Pakistan, when required, on immediate basis. I am not sure how Pak Army will react to this development. However, I am sure Baloch people will appreciate this move as more and more Pakistanis (outside of Balochistan province) become suspicious. Recommend

  • Hmmal
    Sep 5, 2010 - 12:06AM

    This is very good and most Welcoming news from US Ambassador.
    But Oh my God; look at the comments by our people- almost all of them are unwilling that there should be a US consulate in Balochistan. So disappointing comments by the people so far who commented on this news. People are so doubtful-amazing; They expect and require US aid and assistance on one side and on the other side they don’t even want US to monitor the aid that they are providing to the people of Pakistan. Beside that do people of Balochistan are not required to be facilitated in their own cities in terms of visa etc. Please think positively.Recommend

  • Sep 8, 2010 - 9:46AM

    I disagree with Hmmal with due respect. First of all its not the people who demand aid from america…its the govt. who demands aid and use it for their own. Secondly, our own govt is still hesitating to initialize any new process in balochistan and recently a program has been launcehd after a long time which is already in danger ?(seems to be not working) why america has shown interest to start consulate their? What special help has america done with the offices already working in islamabad, karachi and lahore etc? and tell me a single moment when america took a single step for betterment of pakistan? In balochistan most of the people are right now surrounded by flood, remaining are part of tribal fight, why america feels like opening a consulate their at this time? we need to think and understand the hidden agendas of the super powers. I also protest against some of our media powers who are working for such agendas.Recommend

    Sep 8, 2010 - 10:55AM

    wellcome. its great that usa has decided to open her consulate in balochistan. at the time when pakistan is being abondoned by its own selfish people some one is there to stand with you. this is an example of standing with friends in trying situation.Recommend

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