U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert Reiterates Support for Independent Balochistan at a Congressional Briefing

UNPO_congressional briefing

An independent Balochistan will end Pakistan’s hostility and arrogance toward America and the Baloch people.

WASHINGTON DC: The U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday reiterated his support for an independent Balochistan at a congressional briefing held at the Rayburn House Office Building saying, while quoting his conversations with leaders from Afghanistan and Balochistan, that a free Balochistan would dramatically change everything in the region, bring an end to “Pakistan’s arrogance and hostility toward the United States and the Baloch people.”

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) had organized the briefing in which the organization’s president Nasser Boladai, former Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly Waheed Baloch, senior lawyer and author Dr. Hossein Bor spoke about the roots of the Baloch conflict and the policies of the Iranian and the Pakistani governments toward the Baloch people. UNPO’s Program Manager Johanna Green also read out a message of Baloch rights activist Nooruddin Mengal at the briefing as he could not attend the event in person.

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The purpose of the briefing, according to the UNPO, was “to raise awareness among US policymakers of the injustices and oppression faced by the people of Balochistan, which covers areas in present day Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

Congressman Gohmert, who in 2012 had convened a congressional hearing on Balochistan along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, called the Baloch as “our friends” whom “we should support.”

He recalled that his first interaction with the Balochs had happened four or five years ago when he and some other members of Congress had met with leaders from Balochistan and the Afghan Northern Alliance, including former Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum.

“We asked what would happen if we pushed for Baloch independence. What would change? ,” he recalled, “They said everything. The hostility and arrogance of Pakistan will change dramatically both toward America and the Baloch people.”

Congressman Gohmert said last week Iran had conveyed its concerns to Pakistan about an increase in Baloch activities on its side and it feared that if the Baloch in Pakistan succeeded in gaining their independence that would cause problems for Iran.

“Well, that [an uprising in the Iranian Balochistan] is a great problem for Iran to have,” he said, “this [an independent Balochistan] is something that will help the United States immeasurably. We should help people who are being suppressed, terrorized and being driven out from their homes. This is something that must stop.”

Congressman Gohmert said Congress would act in a bipartisan manner if its members were properly educated about what was going on in Balochistan. He believed that most members of Congress were oblivious about the conflict in Balochistan. He severely criticized President Obama’s foreign policy and said support for the Baloch would come slowly as it work in Congress happens slowly.

Citing an op-ed he had co-authored with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher calling for Balochistan’s independence, Congressman Gohmert read out an editorial published in a Pakistani newspaper that had warned Islamabad to review its Balochistan policy in the wake of that article.

“I was amazed at what response one article could get in Islamabad. I wonder what kind of response we will get if we actually take a firm stand in support of our friends, the Baloch people?”

Courtesy: The BalochHal


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