State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland addressed the issue in a “twitter-briefing”.—Reuters photo
Editor’s note: While we are cross-posting this article, right now there is an unannounced military operation currently taking place in Kohlu, Balochistan against Baloch insurgents. According to Baloch social media activists, bomber jets have been used today (16 Jan 2012) to attack Baloch insurgents in Khujal area of Kohlu district in Balochistan killing at least 13 Balochs. There has been a complete blackout in Pakistan’s electronic and print media about the aerial bombing. English press, Pakistan’s so called liberal media, has in fact published a pro-army version of the story which can be read here (10 militants killed in Chamalang area). We condemn Pakistan army’s continued target killing of the Balochs and also condemn Pakistan’s mainstream media and bloggers on their continued silence on or misrepresentation of the Baloch genocide. It’s only yesterday that Pakistan army backed Jihadi-sectarian monsters killed 20 Shia Muslims in Khanpur (Punjab) and today we are mourning 13 more of our own (Balochs)! Is there an end to this madness in sight? (End note)
US urges Pakistan to hold dialogue on Balochistan -by Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON: The US has urged Pakistan to “really lead and conduct a dialogue that takes the Balochistan issue forward”, says the US State Department.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland addressed the issue in a “twitter-briefing” that the department holds every Friday, allowing people from around the world to tweet their questions to her.
“This was a very popular question on our feed, so we wanted to make sure that we answered it today,” said Ms Nuland who focused on the violence plaguing Balochistan instead of tackling political issues raised in most of the tweets.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Balochistan, especially targeted killings, disappearances and other human rights abuses,” she said.
“This is a complex issue. We strongly believe that the best way forward is for all the parties to resolve their differences through peaceful dialogue.”
The State Department official noted that the US took the allegations of human rights abuses very seriously and had discussed these issues with Pakistani officials. “And we also urged them to really lead and conduct a dialogue that takes this issue forward,” she concluded.
While her answer may not satisfy Baloch nationalists who had sent most of the questions, it would still irk Pakistani authorities who do not want the Balochistan issue to be discussed at international forums.
Washington-based Baloch nationalists are hoping that Ms Nuland’s response would set an example and encourage other governments and international organisations, such as the United Nations, to address the issue.
The question that Ms Nuland responded to came from Pakistan from a person who identified himself only as “Cadet 1081” and asked: “Pakistan is committing genocide of the Baloch nation, why does the US not intervene in Balochistan and make us get our freedom?”
While Ms Nuland confined herself to addressing the issue of human rights violations, other respondents did not. “Pakistan is not killing Baloch people. Only the followers of Balach and Hyrbyar want freedom,” wrote Mr Spirit 110.
“Pakistan is killing innocent Baloch people and the world is blind. It is our right to be free,” wrote Behuman.