US resolution on Balochistan

Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher, who first chaired a US Congressional hearing on Balochistan, has now introduced a resolution calling for self-determination for Balochistan. Pakistan has taken a strong exception to this resolution, with Prime Minister Gilani, the Foreign Office, Pakistan Embassy in the US and the Pakistani media all condemning it in unison. The US Embassy in Islamabad issued a statement saying that the US respected Pakistan’s sovereignty and Balochistan was an internal matter of the country. The Obama administration may have distanced itself from the resolution but there are three factors behind this development. One, the Republicans are surely annoyed with Pakistan and its double dealing in the war on terror. It began in General Musharraf’s time and the army has continued with his policies to date. Tabling a resolution on Balochistan’s freedom from Pakistan could also be a way for the Republicans to embarrass the Democrats and the Obama administration. Whatever their motives, there is a serious implication that a sympathetic ear is available in the US to the Baloch cause. Two, the US’s vested interest in the region. If Balochistan gets independence, the Baloch will be well inclined towards the US. Given Balochistan’s mineral wealth and geostrategic location, it will be advantageous to the Americans. Three, international lobbying by Baloch nationalists is finally wielding the desired results: the issue of grave human rights violations in Balochistan has now become an international issue due to their efforts.

The Pakistani state and media are angry at the latest developments. Why has there not been any anger against the ‘kill and dump’ policy that the army has been pursuing in Balochistan for almost a decade now? Somebody has finally taken notice of what the Pakistani military has done in Balochistan. Hiding under the umbrella of ‘sovereignty’ cannot hide the state’s own cruelty, which has led to this pass. The world is waking up to human rights violations, as this concept has permeated into the world’s consciousness in the 21st century. The sovereignty argument looks lame in the case of genocide and massacre, Rwanda and Bosnia are cases in point. If the Balochistan issue is taken up by the UN, which seems to be the next logical step, Pakistan would not be able to do much about it. Just like the OBL episode, the hullabaloo surrounding the US resolution on Balochistan is about sovereignty and not about the real issue. We must focus on why the Baloch are asking for their freedom and how the military establishment is responsible for it. We must revisit the slow genocide that is going on in Balochistan and a political solution must be sought immediately before it is too late.

(my editorial in Daily Times)


Niaz Betab said…
Honest comment.... reached the truth .. thanks

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