BRUSSELS: A Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday called upon the Pakistan government to stop its authoritarian measures in Balochistan and to respect the right to self-determination of the Baloch people.
In a message to an event organized at the European Union Parliament in Brussels titled “Balochistan: Destiny Denied,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who is member of the House Judiciary Committee and member of the Crime, Terror and Homeland Security sub-commitee, called on the Pakistan government to "cease its authoritarian operations" in Balochistan. He said, "Americans empathize with Balochistan's call for self-determination."
Sensenbrenner was supposed to attend the event Tuesday but could not go there because of the shutdown that ended Thursday. The event was organized by the South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF).
"The Baloch people have passed for nearly seven decades to throw the type of Pakistani rule ... Baloch activism had been met by Pakistani armor, artillery and air strikes," the Congressman added.
The situation in Balochistan worsened since fall 2006 when former governor and chief minister, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, 79, resisted the construction of a military school in his constituency but was assassinated on the orders of Pakistan’s then military dictator and coup leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Defending freedom and liberty for the Baloch people, Sensenbrenner said, “It is their right to determine their future and how best to protect the rights of Balochistan's citizens."
Others who spoke at the conference included Mehran Baluch, youngest son of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and Tarek Fatah, a Canadian writer and activist.
The panelists faced some tough questions about the Baloch militant strategy of intimidating human rights activists and their refusal to holds talks with the secular and democratic government led by Chief Minister Dr. Malik Baloch.
©Mustikhan News Syndicate