Pakistan slams US bill on Balochistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday condemned a bill submitted to the US House of Representatives in support of the "right of self-determination" of peopl

Published: 19th February 2012 12:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:59 PM   |  A+A-

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday condemned a bill submitted to the US House of Representatives in support of the "right of self-determination" of people in the country's southwestern Balochistan province.

Dana Rohrabacher, chairman of the Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Friday introduced the House Concurrent Resolution in support of the victims of human rights violations in Balochistan, the country's largest province.

Gilani told journalists in Karachi that the Balochistan issue is an internal issue of Pakistan and his government is trying its best to resolve it, Xinhua reported.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar took strong exception to the bill and said though it is an isolated move by a few individuals, the bill was contrary to the principles of the UN Charter and international law.

She said the bill was against the very fundamentals of the long-standing Pakistan-US relations.

Khar said the National Assembly had already unanimously adopted a resolution condemning a recent open hearing on Balochistan by the US foreign affairs sub-committee.

"The National Assembly resolution had clearly represented the legitimate reaction of the people of Pakistan," she said in a statement.

She said such an unfriendly and irresponsible attempt by a few individuals in Washington was aimed at creating distrust between the peoples of the two countries.

She expressed hope that this latest move will not be allowed to sail through the House by the vast majority of US Congressmen who continued to support friendly relations between the two countries.

Pakistan's ambassador in Washington Sherry Rehman Saturday reacted strongly to the resolution on Balochistan in the US Congress saying that such resolution was "provocative".

The reaction, posted on the embassy website, stated that "the Pakistan envoy in Washington has taken serious notice of the resolution submitted by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Balochistan in the US House of Representative. We reject this ill-informed move and the Congressman's misplaced concern on Balochistan, which is a part of the Pakistani Federation".

"Balochistan has a directly elected provincial assembly of its own and has due representation in the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan," Rehman said, adding that the "resolution seeks to cast doubt on the territorial integrity of a member of the UN and a friend of the United States, and is totally unacceptable."

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