ISLAMABAD - The members of the Lower House of parliament on Monday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the US congressional hearing on Balochistan, terming the move a direct intervention by the US into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation in blatant violation of international law.
All the major political parties were caught napping over the crucial issue until the intervention by National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who blasted the treasury benches for ignoring it. Speaking on a point of order, Nisar said the subcommittee of the US Congress had a deliberation on the situation in Balochistan in violation of international law but the government of Pakistan paid no attention towards the breach of the country’s sovereignty.
“It seems as if we are ignorant of our responsibilities, despite being given sermons by a world power on our responsibilities. However, the government kept criminally silent over the issue and it is imperative for this house to pass a condemnatory resolution,” he said.
Nisar added that the resolution did not mean that the government should not adopt remedial measures to improve the situation in Balochistan, but that no other country could be allowed to assess the Balochistan unrest.
Hailing statements by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the Frontier Corps inspector general that the security forces had no role in any operation against miscreants or the missing people case, Nisar said these statements were a good sign and reflected that the army leadership was responding to its responsibilities. He said the intelligence agencies had also presented seven missing persons in the apex court.
However, Nisar urged the government to learn a lesson from the mistakes of past regimes, including the secession of East Pakistan. He said that the government should also hold a dialogue with the separatists so no other nation could try to benefit from the wedge created because of injustices out to Baloch people by past regimes.
Criticising selective treatment of Pakistan, Nisar said the US administration paid no heed to atrocities of dictatorial regimes of Pakistan against its people. “The US took no notice of the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti, nor did it pay heed to the killings in the Lal Masjid operation. They are ignorant of the breach of sovereignty by drone attacks and the plight of the civilians who die in these attacks as collateral damage. They turn a blind eye towards atrocities of Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir but they decided to raise human rights violations in Balochistan,” he said.
Responding to the points raised by Nisar, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chief Whip Khursheed Shah supported his views and said a strong message should be sent to the US by unanimous passage of the resolution by parliament.
Nisar moved a motion to suspend rules about the routine business, which was not opposed by the treasury.
However, it was none other than Parvez Khan of the Awami National Party (ANP) who unnecessarily intervened and opposed the move, stating that the text of the resolution should be shared with his party.
The resolution said: “This House strongly condemns the blatant interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs evidenced by the US Congressional Foreign Relations Sub-Committee hearing on Balochistan on 8th February, 2012. This House notes with great concern that a time when Pakistan-US relations are already under severe stress, the holding of such a hearing by the US Congress cannot but jeopardise the healing process and further inflame public opinion against the US by adding to the prevailing sense of mistrust and suspicion regarding US intentions towards Pakistan.”The resolution urged the government of Pakistan to convey to the US Administration,
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office separately summoned US Chargé D’affaires Richard Hoagland to officially convey the government’s serious concerns about the congressional hearing. Hoagland was told that this was unacceptable as it amounted to interference in the internal affairs of the country.
Hoagland assured the Foreign Office that the US administration had not extended any support to the initiative nor did it subscribe to any such views.