• Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Us Congressmen Spar With Pak Media At ‘Newsmaker’ Balochistan Briefing By Michael Hughes

Rohrabacher and Gohmert were joined by Steve King of Iowa, who also co-sponsored the Baloch self-determination bill, in a press

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Michael Hughes

WASHINGTON – Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Louis Gohmert (R-TX) engaged in a series of verbal jousts with
members of Pakistan’s media at the National Press Club on Tuesday over a House resolution they co-sponsored which claims the
people of Pakistan’s Balochistan province have an inherent right to establish their own sovereignty.

Rohrabacher, a former Reagan speechwriter, used vivid language throughout the “Newsmaker” press conference to denounce
Pakistan for its grievous human rights violations against the people of Balochistan and for harboring radical terrorists that have
murdered thousands of American citizens and soldiers. He said it was time for the U.S. to oppose Pakistan for “committing these evil
deeds.”

Rohrabacher and Gohmert were joined by Steve King of Iowa, who also co-sponsored the Baloch self-determination bill, in a press
room packed with journalists from the U.S., Pakistan and India.

The date of the press conference was significant because on March 27, 1948, as Rohrabacher pointed out in his opening remarks:

“…the people of Balochistan were forcibly incorporated into the power structure of Pakistan. This was done against their will. This
was not done by a national plebiscite. The people of Balochistan, like the Kurds and other people throughout the region, have a right to
their own country.”

Ever since this dark day Pakistan has systemically oppressed the people of Balochistan while exploiting the province’s natural
resources. A number of international human rights organizations have accused Pakistan’s security forces of kidnapping and killing
thousands of Baloch, with one activist recently reporting that over 14,000 have gone missing since 2001 alone.

At the outset of the question and answer session a reporter from the Associated Press of Pakistan challenged the congressman from
Orange County by asking why the U.S. didn’t support self-determination for the people of Kashmir, a disputed region bordering India
and Pakistan in which India has been accused of human rights abuses.


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