Pakistan summons U.S. envoy over Congress resolution on Baluchistan

Pakistan summons U.S. envoy over Congress resolution on Baluchistan
# 21 February 2012 02:49 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Pakistan Monday summoned U.S. Charge d’Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoagland and a "strong protest was lodged" with him over a resolution submitted to the U. S. House of Representatives on Pakistan’s southwestern Balochsitan province, the Foreign Ministry said, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, Dana Rohrabacher, earlier on Friday, introduced a House Concurrent Resolution, in support of the "right of self-determination of the Balochi people, for being victims of human rights violations and oppression despite being the largest province."

"Ambassador Hoagland was told in clear terms that the move in the U.S. Congress was contrary to the spirit of friendly relations and violative of the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and recognized norms of inter-state conduct," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

He was asked to convey the serious concern of the Government of Pakistan to the U.S. Administration, the statement said.

The U.S. embassy in Islamabad Sunday said the United States " respects the territorial integrity" of Pakistan and members of Congress introduce legislation on numerous foreign affairs topics and these bills do not in any way imply U.S. government endorsement of any particular policy".

The statement said the Department of State does not typically comment on pending legislation, but it is not the policy of the Administration to support independence for Balochistan.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar had also strongly condemned the U.S. resolution in their separate statements on Saturday that the resolution was contrary to the principles of UN Charter and international law.

Pakistani leaders said that the bill was also against the very fundamentals of the long-standing Pakistan-U.S. relations.

Khar said that the National Assembly, Lower House of the parliament, had already unanimously adopted a resolution condemning a recent openhearing on Balochistan by the U.S. Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations.

Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Sherry Rehman, also reacted strongly to the resolution on Balochistan in the U.S. 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 U.S. 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."

Pakistani leaders say that Balochistan has a directly elected provincial assembly of its own and has due representation in the National Assembly and the Senate of Pakistan.