Pakistan raps U.S. Congress for 'meddling' in Balochistan


( - Pakistan has condemned the United States over its interference in the country’s southwestern Balochistan province, summoning the American envoy to Islamabad over a recent US Congress hearing.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Monday summoned US Chargé d'Affaires Richard Hoagland and expressed its extreme displeasure with a US Congressional hearing last week that reportedly discussed alleged human rights abuses in Balochistan.

"The charge d’affaires was informed that this was unacceptable as it amounted to interference in the internal affairs of the country," a foreign ministry statement read.

Since 2004, Western-backed separatist militants affiliated with ultra-nationalist Balochi parties have been waging a low-intensity insurgency against Islamabad. Some Western countries have accused Pakistan of committing human rights violations in the province.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani parliament adopted a resolution that condemned the hearing in the US Congress, stating that the American legislature has absolutely no jurisdiction to discuss the internal affairs of the sovereign Asian country.

The resolution, tabled by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-N party in the National Assembly, was unanimously passed. The resolution states that “the house rigorously condemns and does not accept the hearing by the US Congress and considers any such attempt an open intervention in the state’s sovereignty and its internal affairs.”

"American interference in Pakistan's internal affairs is unacceptable," the document emphasized.

Relations between Islamabad and Washington have significantly deteriorated in the past year over non-UN-sanctioned US assassination drone strikes in the northwestern tribal belt of the country as well as repeated violations of the country’s sovereignty by the US.

Pakistan stopped the supply convoys destined for US-led forces in Afghanistan in response to NATO airstrikes on November 26 that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at two checkpoints on the Afghan border.

In response to the airstrikes, Islamabad also ordered the US to vacate an airbase in Balochistan province.



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