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Public Statements

The Ethnic Baloch People

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Speaker, the Ethnic Baloch people live in an area of South Asia now claimed by Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. In Pakistan in particular, they comprise an important segment of the population and live in the least developed province, despite an abundance of natural resources. Until the arrival of the British Empire, the Baloch people organized themselves in a confederation with local tribal chiefs holding power. When India and Pakistan were partitioned the Baloch people desired to return to their own sovereign state, but were prevented by the Pakistani military led government. Baloch aspirations for independence have been checked by force and their basic human rights have been denied by the Pakistani state. The Pakistan government and military is dominated by members of the Punjab ethnic group.

The first major Baloch uprising occurred in 1973 and was crushed two years later. The Baloch again resisted their Pakistani Punjabi occupiers by force beginning in 2005. A low-level insurgency continues to this day. Pakistan's elite refuses to release their grip on the strategic coastline or the natural riches of Balochistan which they and their ally, Communist Chinese exploit.

The Pakistani security services, which are overwhelmingly made up of Punjabis, use violence against civilians to intimidate the Baloch population. One particular grotesque method of intimidation is called ``kill and dump.'' That is when the body of a man or woman who has disappeared is later dumped in a busy section of a town for all the people to see. Many of the bodies show extreme signs of torture and are badly mutilated.

I submit for the Record a document titled, ``Some of the Souls in Traumata'' which reputedly documents 2,251 Baluchis who have been ``disappeared'' by the Pakistani security services or who died while in custody.

This abysmal human rights record of the Pakistani government is shameful. It is even worse because American foreign and military aid money contributes to strengthening the security forces which kill innocent Baluchis. The Baluch people have a right to self-determination and not to live under the control of Islamabad, if they choose.

Mr. Speaker, a copy of this report can be viewed at: the%20souls%20in%20traumata.pdf.

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