WASHINGTON, Oct. 14: The US should support the Baloch people and other oppressed groups in Pakistan, who are being subject to grave human rights violations for demanding the right to self-determination, a senior American lawmaker has said.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said Pakistan needs to remember what happened in 1971, referring to developments in then East Pakistan which later on became Bangladesh after years of Pakistani human rights abuses and persecution of the local population.
Resource-rich Balochistan, Pakistan's largest but least populated province, has been wracked by a long-running separatist insurgency which has seen brutal repression by Pakistani security forces and enforced disappearances.
"When the people of Bangladesh wanted to be a little independent of the Pakistani government, have some way to control their own lives and control their own government, they were brutally repressed by the Pakistani government, and that is what led to, basically, the uprising of the people in Bangladesh when they freed themselves," Rohrabacher said yesterday in the US House of Representatives.
That same type of oppression is continuing not only against the Baloch, but also against the Muhajirs who came over from India after Partition, he said.
Rohrabacher said the Muhajirs do not want to be subjugated by "this corrupt, militaristic, pro-terrorist" government of Pakistan.
"We should be siding with people like that who want their independence and believe in these same values that we believe in," he said, adding, the US needs to be supporting the Baloch.
"The Baloch are also persecuted, mainly persecuted by the Pakistanis who have them under their thumb, and they murder people constantly," he alleged.
"This is the history of Pakistan. Right now they are doing it to the Baloch, to the Sindhis, you name it. You have got just a group of people, except for the Punjabis and then others, the Pashtuns, who control that government in Pakistan," Rohrabacher said. TOI
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