Pakistan Protests Against Balochistan Bill In The US Congress

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Context

Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned US Charge d’ Affaires Ambassador Richard Hoaglan on Monday to lodge protest against the introduction of a resolution on Balochistan in the US House of Representatives. He was told that the move would hurt US-Pakistan relations and the bill violates the principles of United Nations Charter, international law, and the recognized norms of interstate conduct.

The bill was moved by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and co-sponsored by House Representatives Louie Gohmert and Steve King, calling on Pakistan to recognize Baloch’s right to self-determination.

On the other hand, Pakistani officials have revealed that US has been pressing Islamabad for permission to establish bases in Balochistan for eavesdropping on Iran. These sources further revealed that the bill is a a pressure tactic to force Pakistan in to granting permission.

President Ahmedinejad recently visited Pakistan to attend the trilateral summit and apparently urged Pakistani authorities to disallow US from maintaining presence in Quetta. In December last year, President Asif Zardari said he would not become part of any new war in the region, referring to US pressure for anti-Iran intelligence operations.

Meanwhile, the recently formed Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), also staged a rally in Islamabad on Sunday to protest against the Balochistan bill and increasing American intervention in Pakistan. The crowd chanted Anti-American slogans and called for jihad. DPC Chairman Maulana Sami ul Haq commented that US wants to divide Pakistan and that DPC wants to register its protests against resumption of NATO supplies, drone strikes, US and Indian occupation.