Pak worried as US discusses human rights `abuses`

Last Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 23:51

Islamabad: Pakistan has expressed concern
over a discussion in the US Congress on human rights abuses in
the country`s restive southwestern Balochistan province where
hundreds of people have allegedly been victim of enforced
disappearance by the security forces.

"We have conveyed our concerns and raised this issue with
the US authorities both in Washington and Islamabad," Foreign
Office spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters today.

"We believe Washington fully understands our position.

The matter was clarified by the US State Department
yesterday," he told the weekly news briefing at the Foreign
Office in response to questions.

A subcommittee of the US House of Representatives
Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday held a special hearing
on the situation in Balochistan, during which witnesses
detailed human rights abuses and alleged excesses by security
forces in Balochistan.

Five US lawmakers who attended the hearing stressed the
right to self-determination of the Baloch people.

Ali Dayan Hasan, the Pakistan director for Human Rights
Watch, said in his testimony that cases documented by his
organisation showed that Pakistan`s security forces and its
intelligence agencies were involved in the enforced
disappearance of ethnic Baloch.

In response to another question, spokesman Basit said
Pakistan`s position on US drone attacks was clear - these
strikes "are unlawful and unacceptable".

Basit said the reopening of NATO supply routes, which
were closed after a cross-border air strike that killed 24
Pakistani soldiers last year, was linked to a parliamentary
review of relations with the US.

"We are awaiting policy directions from our parliament to
move forward," he said.


First Published: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 23:51
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