Involvement of external forces in Balochistan: Pak

The situation in Baloch has been in sharp focus since US Congressman moved a resolution seeking the right to self-determination for Baloch people.

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday said it has
evidence that external forces were involved in creating law
and order problems in the restive Balochistan province but did
not identify the elements allegedly involved in fomenting

"There has been evidence about this. The government is
cognizant of the issues involved and trying to handle all the
issues politically," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said
at the weekly news briefing in response to several questions
about the situation in Balochistan.

Basit was asked by several reporters if India was involved
in the unrest in Pakistan`s largest province but he refused to
take names.

He reiterated that there was evidence of "external
involvement in Balochistan" and of foreign powers trying to
destabilise the province.

"Some forces have been trying to destabilise the situation
in the province but there is no point in discussing these
things publicly.

"We are committed not to interfere in the internal affairs
of other countries and we expect the same from other
countries," he said.

The Pakistan government is working to resolve internal
problems politically, he added.

The situation in Balochistan has been in sharp focus since
US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher moved a resolution in the
House of Representatives seeking the right to
self-determination for the Baloch people.

Pakistani leaders reacted angrily to the bill, describing
it as an attack on the country`s sovereignty.

Baloch groups waging a violent campaign for greater
autonomy for the province have accused Pakistani intelligence
agencies of detaining and killing over 200 activists in the
past two years.

The charge has been denied by the security establishment.
In response to another question, Basit said Foreign
Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had raised the issue of
"anti-Pakistan activities" of Baloch nationalist leaders in
some countries during her current visit to Britain.

He however did not give details.
Asked if Khar had raised the issue of Balochistan during
her meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in
London yesterday, Basit said the two leaders had discussed
"all issues of mutual interest".

Basit said the resolution on Balochistan in the US
Congress "betrayed arrogance and ignorance on the part of a
few individuals".

Pakistan will not "brook interference in our internal
affairs", he added.

A US Congressional delegation, which met Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday, had reaffirmed that the
resolution was the act of a few individuals and cannot
represent the will of the Congress.

"We are confident that this ill-advised and ill-considered
moved by a few individuals will not gain any traction and will
be rejected by an overwhelming majority," he said.

Khar`s meeting with Clinton on the sidelines of an
international conference on Somalia was "positive and
constructive", Basit said.

Pakistan-US relations are "important and we are trying to
make these relations transparent and predictable", he said.

The government is awaiting the completion of a
parliamentary review of Pakistan-US ties ordered by the Prime
Minister and will proceed in the light of parliamentary
guidelines, he said.

"We expect the parliamentary process to complete soon, in
any case sometime during the first half of March," he said.

High level visits by US officials are expected to take
place following the completion of our parliamentary review,
Basit said.


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