National Press Club

Republican lawmakers say Pakistan tramples Balochistan, supplies Taliban

March 27, 2012 | By Lorna Aldrich | Lorna2@verizon.net

Congressman Steve King, R-Iowa, explains a House Resolution in favor of self-determination for people in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

Congressman Steve King, R-Iowa, explains a House Resolution in favor of self-determination for people in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

Photo/Image: Noel St. John

Pakistan suppresses the rights of people in its Balochistan province and supports enemies of the United States, three Republican congressmen said Tuesday at a Newsmaker press conference.

Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher of California, Louis Gohmert of Texas and Steve King of Iowa co-sponsored a resolution in the House that calls for self-determination for Balochistan.

Gohmert accused Pakistan of supplying the Taliban through Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan. Supporting an independent Balochistan could close of that supply route, he said. “The enemy of my enemy should be my friend,” he said

Rohrabacher acknowledged that both India and the U.S. oppose this policy but added that they were trying to change the U.S. position. Gohmert likened the current limited support for their resolution to an attempt by a few people to move a large boulder _ as more people join the effort the boulder can move.

King said that in 1947, the year of Pakistan's creation, Balochistan was promised self-determination in all areas except defense, currency and finance, but that the area has not received it.

Rohrabacher said that he was “Pakistan’s best friend in Congress” when he was elected in 1988.

“We spent a lot of time lying to ourselves," about Pakistan's support of radical Islam and its lack of support for democratic principles, he said.

“The government of Pakistan is radical Islam,” and has been providing weapons and resources to radical Muslim elements who use them against Americans, Rohrabacher said. “They are the evil force, they are the radicals."

The U.S. should reassess its policies in South Asia, he said. He suggested the United States should be closer to India now that the Cold War is over.

Gohmert said that if a government is our enemy, or supporting a government that is our enemy, our interest is to see that that government is removed.