Pak angry over Balochistan resolution in US Congress

Pakistan`s top leadership reacted angrily to a resolution introduced in the US Congress seeking the right to self-determination for Baloch people

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2012, 21:15 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s top leadership reacted
angrily on Saturday to a resolution introduced in the US Congress
seeking the right to self-determination for Baloch people,
with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani describing the move as
an attack on the country`s sovereignty.

Gilani condemned the resolution moved in the US House of
Representatives by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher yesterday.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in
Karachi Port, he said: "We condemn it as it is against our
sovereignty".

In a statement, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar took
strong exception to the resolution on Balochistan, which has
witnessed a spike in violence by nationalist groups that are
seeking greater autonomy and a say in the exploitation of the
southwestern province`s abundant natural resources, including
minerals and gas.

Khar said though the resolution was an isolated move by a
few individuals, it "was contrary to the principles of the UN
Charter and international law".

The resolution was also against the "very fundamentals of
the longstanding Pakistan-US relations", she said.

She pointed out that Pakistan`s National Assembly or lower
house of parliament had unanimously adopted a resolution
condemning a recent hearing on Balochistan by the US Foreign
Affairs Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations.

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

Khar described Rohrabacher`s resolution as "an unfriendly
and irresponsible attempt by a few individuals in Washington"
to create distrust between the people of the US and Pakistan.

Khar said she hoped this "tendentious move" would not be
allowed to get through the US House of Representatives by a
vast majority of Congressmen who continued to support friendly
relations between the two countries.

Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan described the
resolution as part of a "dirty conspiracy".

She told reporters that Islamabad had been expecting such
moves after hosting a trilateral summit with Afghanistan and
Iran.

In a separate statement, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul
Basit said Rohrabacher`s resolution on Balochistan was "a
highly irresponsible move and a sheer violation international
laws".

"The resolution was based on poor information and
ignorance," he said.

Rohrabacher`s motion, which was co-sponsored by
Congressmen Louie Gohmert and Steve King, highlighted
Balochistan`s troubled relations with the federal government
after the creation of Pakistan.

It said "revolts" in the province in 1958, 1973 and 2005
"indicate continued popular discontent against Islamabad`s
rule, and the plunder of its vast natural wealth while the
province remains the poorest in the country".

The resolution further said that the people of Balochistan
"have the right to self-determination and to their own
sovereign country".

PTI