The subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Republican from Califorinia, Dana Rohrabacher, held a session to discuss the target killings and human rights situation in Balochistan and termed it a matter requiring urgent attention. He has also co-authored an article a few days ago favouring independent Balochistan.
In his opening remarks, Rep. Rohrabacher said that Balochistan is a turbulent land marred by human rights violations “by regimes that are against US values”.
Dana Rohrabacher further said that human rights violation is also there in Balochistan. He said that this province has vital strategic importance.
Ali Dayan Hasan, the Pakistan director for Human Rights Watch, 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, to demand an end to abuses and facilitate criminal inquiries to hold perpetrators accountable.”
He clarified that the HRW took no position on the issue of the independence of Balochistan. He argued that the US and UK had made enforced disappearances possible by allowing them during the war on terror, which has led to the military doing the same. Christine Fair added that Pakistan’s abuse of human rights have served the US’ interests.
The hearing, which lasted a little over an hour, came to an end as congressmen decided to go to the floor for a vote. In his closing remarks, Rep. Rohrabacher declared that the hearing was no stunt, and that they wanted to start a national dialogue on what US policy should be in that part of the world.