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Pak brutality in Balochistan angers US lawmakers

WASHINGTON: Accusing Pakistan of using brutal force in Baluchistan, eminent US lawmakers have expressed serious concern over the human rights violations in the restive province. 

"Baluchistan deserves our attention because it is a turbulent land marked by human rights violations committed by regimes that are hostile to America's interests and values," Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said at a Congressional hearing. 

Rohrabacher is the Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which organised the Congressional hearing on Baluchistan. 

Stating that Islamabad has refused to concede any legitimacy to Baluch nationalism or to engage the Baluch leadership in serious negotiations, Rohrabacher said: 

"Its response has been based on brute force, including extra-judicial killings." 

In an apparent reference to the concerns being expressed in Pakistan over the hearing, he said its purpose is to start a national dialogue in the US on the current status in Baluchistan. 

"This is not to plot out some sort of conspiracy," he said. 

Congressman Ted Poe from Texas said that the current situation in Baluchistan fits into the category of self-determination. 

"I'm a great believer in self-determination for people who believe in it as well. Baluchistan, I think, fits that category", he said. 

"Somebody over there in Baluchistan has been reading the Declaration of Independence that gives a justification on a moral and legal reason why people can separate themselves from abusive governments," Poe said. 

Poe went on to compare Pakistan with Benedict Arnold, an American Revolutionary War General who first fought the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army, and said: 

"As far as Pakistan goes, they are the Benedict Arnold in the relationship with the United States. Ten years and USD 20 billion later we're still paying them to not look out after our interests. They persecuted the informant that gave us the information about Osama bin Laden, charged him with treason. 

"I mean, how long is it going to take before we get the point? We don't need to continue to give American money to Pakistan at all. Not a dime. And they've proven they don't deserve it and it's not in our national interest," Poe said. PTI

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