[House Hearing, 112 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 8, 2012
Serial No. 112-121
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
DAN BURTON, Indiana GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ELTON GALLEGLY, California ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DANA ROHRABACHER, California Samoa
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California BRAD SHERMAN, California
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
RON PAUL, Texas GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
MIKE PENCE, Indiana RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
JOE WILSON, South Carolina ALBIO SIRES, New Jersey
CONNIE MACK, Florida GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia
JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida
MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas DENNIS CARDOZA, California
TED POE, Texas BEN CHANDLER, Kentucky
GUS M. BILIRAKIS, Florida BRIAN HIGGINS, New York
JEAN SCHMIDT, Ohio ALLYSON SCHWARTZ, Pennsylvania
BILL JOHNSON, Ohio CHRISTOPHER S. MURPHY, Connecticut
DAVID RIVERA, Florida FREDERICA WILSON, Florida
MIKE KELLY, Pennsylvania KAREN BASS, California
TIM GRIFFIN, Arkansas WILLIAM KEATING, Massachusetts
TOM MARINO, Pennsylvania DAVID CICILLINE, Rhode Island
JEFF DUNCAN, South Carolina
ANN MARIE BUERKLE, New York
RENEE ELLMERS, North Carolina
ROBERT TURNER, New York
Yleem D.S. Poblete, Staff Director
Richard J. Kessler, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
DANA ROHRABACHER, California, Chairman
MIKE KELLY, Pennsylvania RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri
RON PAUL, Texas DAVID CICILLINE, Rhode Island
TED POE, Texas KAREN BASS, California
DAVID RIVERA, Florida
C O N T E N T S
C. Christine Fair, Ph.D., assistant professor, Georgetown
Mr. Ralph Peters, military analyst and author.................... 31
Mr. T. Kumar, director, International Advocacy, Amnesty
International USA.............................................. 41
M. Hossein Bor, Ph.D., counsel, Entwistle & Cappucci, LLP........ 51
Mr. Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director, Asia Division, Human
Rights Watch................................................... 68
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher, a Representative in Congress from
the State of California, and chairman, Subcommittee on
Oversight and Investigations: Prepared statement............... 4
C. Christine Fair, Ph.D.: Prepared statement..................... 12
Mr. Ralph Peters: Prepared statement............................. 33
Mr. T. Kumar: Prepared statement................................. 43
M. Hossein Bor, Ph.D.: Prepared statement........................ 53
Mr. Ali Dayan Hasan: Prepared statement.......................... 70
Hearing notice................................................... 96
Hearing minutes.................................................. 97
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:30 p.m., in
room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dana Rohrabacher
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. Rohrabacher. I call this hearing of the Oversight and
Investigations Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs
Committee to order.
Today's hearing is about a part of the world and a people
that most Americans know nothing about, Baluchistan, an area
inhabited by the Baluch people who trace their history back for
centuries. Baluchistan deserves our attention because it is a
turbulent land marked by human rights' violations committed by
regimes that are hostile to America's interests and values. It
holds a very strategic location in an area of intense
Baluchistan comprises about 800 miles of coast at the head
of the Arabian Sea between Iran and India and runs inland to
southern Afghanistan. The Baluchs are a fiercely independent
warrior people who have made their land a perilous land to
invade--until natural gas and other mineral wealth was
discovered there in this last century.
During the 17th century the tribes were united in a loose
confederation until the British incorporated the area into the
Indian empire in the 19th century. The British, however, ruled
the area with a light touch, leaving tribal chiefs in control
of their everyday affairs.
At the time of the partition of the British Raj into
contemporary Pakistan and India back in 1947, the Baluch
leaders voiced a desire for independence, but the Pakistan army
took control of the area and forced the Baluch tribal chiefs to
submit to the rule from Islamabad. The partition was based on
religion, that partition between India and Pakistan, it was
based on religion, rather than ethnic identity. The Baluchs are
Sunni Muslims; and Pakistan, which was founded as an Islamic
state, sees itself as the rightful ruler of all Muslims of the
Pakistani ideology holds Islam as the first identity, but
other people identify themselves and their interests in many
different ways. In practice, Pakistan does not treat all
Muslims equally. The Baluch have seen little benefit from the
development of the natural gas, coal, gold, uranium, and copper
that is produced in their province. Instead, the wealth is
taken for the benefit of the dominant Punjabi elite that runs
the country from Islamabad.
Baluchistan remains the poorest province in Pakistan, even
though it is the richest in natural resources. Attacks against
natural gas installations and pipelines by Baluch insurgents
are steadily increasing, and there have been assassinations of
Chinese engineers who are helping Pakistan develop resources
that will be shipped out of the province to benefit Islamabad
and, of course, Beijing.
The province's major port--let me pronounce it--Gwadar--the
port of Gwadar has also been developed with the help of China
and may become a naval base as well as a trade and energy
transit center. Pakistan, however, is using this development to
attract Punjabis into the province with the aim perhaps of
outnumbering the local native Baluch.
There was a major uprising in Baluchistan that ran from
1973 to 1977, and the Baluch nationalists were inspired by the
independence of Bangladesh, which was won in 1971. The Baluch
insurgency, however, was ruthlessly crushed by Pakistani
After two decades of relative calm, insurgency broke out
again in 2005. Islamabad has refused to concede any legitimacy
to Baluch nationalism or to engage the Baluch leadership in
serious negotiations. Its response has been based on brute
force, including extrajudicial killings. The State Department
and Amnesty International have condemned Pakistan for these
murderous acts in Baluchistan.
Across the border in Iran, there is a province, Sistan-
Baluchistan, which is dominated by the ethnic Baluchs. The
mullah regime there has denied them their basic human rights;
and, as in Pakistan, the Baluchs are denied proper education
and economic opportunities. As in Pakistan, the resources of
Sistan-Baluchistan are often used to support an elite in a
distant capital, leaving the local Baluchs in both countries
The Governor of Sistan-Baluchistan is appointed by the
mullah regime in Tehran. The Governor of Pakistan's Baluchistan
is determined by a very complicated process which has some
democratic elements, but the nationalist parties thought the
system was so corrupt that they boycotted the elections in
2008. I hope our witnesses can shed some light on how free and
fair a political process in that area could be and give us some
insights into what is going on there in terms of the political
A low-level insurgency is in progress in Iran, as it is in
Pakistan, with both countries reacting with the same brutal way
of stamping out resistance. The Baluch in Iran are even more
oppressed than those in Pakistan because Tehran is run by Shia
theocrats who consider Sunni Muslims to be worse than heretics.
Sunni Baluch clerics have been killed as part of an Iranian
South Asia cannot be understood purely in religious terms,
as Muslim versus non-Muslim or Sunni versus Shiite. Group
identities there are rooted in deeper tribal and village
allegiances, with cultural attributes and historical
experiences that go back for centuries. This hearing will
explore what these mean and what they mean to the United
States, what are the geopolitics of the region, the security of
Pakistan, Iran, and their neighbors, how these things are being
affected as well as the stability of that whole area.
Also, we are looking at finding out about those things and
how all of these factors and the dynamics that are at work play
into the existing borders and aspirations of self-determination
from all the perspectives that Americans hold and value. We
believe in self-determination and democracy, believe the people
have a right to speak up, but we are also very concerned about
the stability of that part of the world and what this means to
America and to the people there.
So, as I say, this hearing, although I know that a lot of
people saw this with trepidations, we are trying to understand
something that I think we as American people have not paid
attention to. So we need to learn things, like how to pronounce
the port there and things like that. But even more than that,
how to identify what forces are at work and who has some
legitimate complaints and what America should be doing in
reaction to the events there with the people there. So we are
not here to--we are here to learn, and that is what this
hearing is all about.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Rohrabacher follows:]
Mr. Rohrabacher. With that, I would turn to my ranking
member, Mr. Carnahan, for his opening remarks.
Let me note, please don't applaud, please don't throw fruit
at me, either. It would be nice--just because it takes up time,
and we have got to be out of here in about an hour. So go right
Mr. Carnahan. Mr. Chairman, I am glad to see you have a
rousing ovation here today in this subcommittee hearing. You
say that like someone who is used to being applauded and having
fruit thrown at you.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Oh, yes.
Mr. Carnahan. It goes along with the territory.
But, seriously, thank you for holding this hearing today.
It is really very critical that we examine U.S. relations with
Pakistan in multiple contexts like this.
Mr. Chairman, since you last called a hearing this past
summer on U.S. strategy in south Asia, it is fair to say that
the U.S.-Pakistan relationship has continued to strain but
remains absolutely a critical partnership. I would urge the
Pakistani Government to step up its efforts to weed out terror
activity within and along its own borders.
Pakistan has significant challenges within its own country
that have national, regional, and certainly international
implications. One of the concerns and the topic of today's
hearing is the situation in Baluchistan.
This past month, a State Department spokesman said, ``The
U.S. is deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in
Baluchistan, especially targeted killings, disappearances, and
other human rights abuses.''
She further stated that the administration takes
allegations of human rights abuses very seriously and that it
had discussed these issues with Pakistani officials.
While the administration is not here today to testify, I
would urge U.S. officials to continue to bring these issues up
in the course of our diplomatic discussions.
With the significant investment of U.S. funding in
Pakistan, it is Congress' job to make sure we are getting the
return on the investment that our taxpayers deserve. We need to
ensure that every dollar of U.S.-taxpayer-funded assistance is
being used properly and in our interest. Vigorous oversight of
all U.S. foreign aid is critical to the success of our programs
there and is a key component to building infrastructure and
capacity in Pakistan.
However, the U.S. and international commitment to Pakistan
is not enough. In the face of all its challenges, it is
critical that Pakistan work to ensure the integrity of its own
people and its own country, including Baluchistan; and as the
U.S., the U.N., and NATO continue in Afghanistan, the Afghan-
Baluchistan border remains critical to ensuring that we are
making decisions that move Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the
entire region toward increased stability.
Again, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am looking forward to
hearing the esteemed panel of witnesses that we have with us
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much.
Mr. Sherman, do you have an opening statement?
Mr. Sherman. I do indeed.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Go right ahead.
Mr. Sherman. I want to thank the chairman of this
subcommittee for allowing me to make a statement at this
hearing. I have been on the full committee for 15 years and
haven't had the honor to be a member of this subcommittee but
have had a chance to see its work when reported to the full
My statement will focus not only on Baluchistan but the
adjoining area of the Sindh province. Many Baluch live in the
Sindh province, and to a great extent the Pakistani Government
treatment of both these southern areas is similar.
Pakistan-U.S. relations hit an all-time low last year when
we found bin Laden in Abbottabad and perhaps later when
allegedly the U. S. Embassy in Kabul was attacked by those who
may have had the help of the ISI. That is why it is more
important than ever for the U.S. to reach out to the various
people who have been marginalized by the Pakistani Government.
The people of Baluchistan and Sindh, their culture,
language, and way of life are under attack and underrepresented
from so many major government entities in Pakistan. Political
activities defending Baluch and Sindhi rights are subject to
arrest, disappearances, torture, and even killing.
I believe the U.S. must reach out to these underrepresented
historic segments of the Pakistani population. The Baluch
people are culturally and traditionally regarded as secular and
moderate, strongly influenced by the cultural traditions of
Sufism. Both the Sindhis and the Baluch have a culture that I
think will be consistent with American values; and a
significant part of the people of Sindh, of course, are Baluch
ethnically or have Baluch origins. The Baluch and Sindhis,
including those Baluch living in Sindhi province, share the
goal of government recognition of their cultural, political,
and economic rights.
Baluchistan is Pakistan's most underdeveloped province. It
has the highest unemployment and poverty rates, the lowest
quality of life when measured economically of any province in
Pakistan. The road infrastructure is also poor; and, as the
chairman points out, this is ironic because it is such a
resource-rich area, especially as to natural gas. Islamabad's
reluctance to give the Baluch people more autonomy is in part
because they covet those resources. The Baluch gained a more
equitable share of the region's rich natural resources, and
that is another source of resentment.
A third source of resentment is the Pakistani army
cantonments that are being established in the Baluch areas. A
small minority of Baluch have undertaken the armed struggle
which was described by the chairman, and he also described its
There is also, as the chairman described, Baluch on the
Iranian side of the border waging a conflict against the
In this critical part of the world, we cannot afford to
ignore the southern half of Pakistan, especially its population
of Baluch and Sindhis.
I had an opportunity last year to found the Sindh Caucus,
and I would invite my colleagues to join. It is co-chaired by
Dan Burton, Adam Schiff is an active member, and, as I have
noted, the people of Sindh have a moderate tradition that is
consistent with U.S. values and U.S. interests.
For many years, the Pakistani Government has tried to
impose just one language, Urdu, on the people of Pakistan, when
in fact Sindhi is spoken by more people than Urdu. We need to
reach out to the people of Sindh province and others who speak
the Sindhi language, and we need to do so in the Sindh
Right now, the Voice of America is broadcasting only in
Urdu. That is why I want to commend our full committee for
voting for my amendment to require that the Voice of America
start broadcasting in the Sindh language, and now it is a
matter of actually making that happen through the bureaucracy
and through the Appropriations Committee. And I look forward to
the day when that is a success and we are back here talking
about the Baluch language.
I believe my time has expired, and I yield back to the
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much.
It is always great to chair a hearing where someone is more
radical than I am on certain issues.
Mr. Sherman. A rare occurrence, I might add.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Actually, we see eye to eye on almost
everything except he is a Democrat and I am a Republican.
We also have another soft-spoken Member of Congress joining
us, Louie Gohmert from Texas. I ask unanimous consent that he
may sit in on this hearing and have the rights of all the other
members of the committee.
Louie, do you have a couple minute opening statement for
us? Go right ahead. Take 2 minutes.
Mr. Gohmert. I will wait.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Take 1 minute and get yourself----
Mr. Gohmert. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. It is an honor to be
here, and it is, I think, just wonderful that you have called
this hearing, and I appreciate the interest I am hearing from
our Democratic friends.
But when you have a place in the world that was forced to
be part of another country in 1948, as Baluchistan was, and
then in that same country the people that are native to that
area are harassed, what some of us would consider to be the
human rights of dignity that every human being should be
afforded are violated on a regular basis by the national
government. And then further that government goes on to,
whether it is official or unofficial, to furnish supplies,
encouragement--what people I met with in forward-operating
bases in Afghanistan last month tell me are the supplies, the
IEDs, the weapons coming in to the Taliban, so many are coming
from Pakistan and coming from the Baluchistan area.
And as an editorial I was pleased to read in the Pakistan
Daily Times noted, maybe it is time that we quit working so
hard to support the Taliban in another country and concentrate
more on our own country. And I think it would make the United
States very happy to see that, it would make people of
Afghanistan very happy that the Taliban was no longer being
provided weapons to inflict harm on them, and it would make the
Baluchs very happy, from my discussion with them, that they
were allowed to live in peace without being subjected to
horrors from their own government.
So I am delighted you asked for this hearing, and I
appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Mr. Rohrabacher. All right. Thank you very much. No
applause. Thank you very much, Mr. Gohmert.
We have witnesses ahead of us. You will note that there are
a couple more witnesses than we originally planned. Because we
do know so little about this region, we didn't know who to
invite, and there were some suggestions that were sent to me
over the Internet that we maybe should expand it to make sure
there is a little bit more representative cross-section of
views, and that is what we did. So I want to thank whoever sent
me those suggestions, and I think we are going to have a much
richer hearing because of it.
But we have a time problem, and the time problem is that
they are going to call votes sometime in the next hour, maybe
even \1/2\ hour or 45 minutes, so I am going to hold each one
of you to the 5-minute rule for your testimony, and I am sorry,
but I am going to have to, because otherwise there won't be any
time for questions and answers at all.
We have with us on the panel Christine Fair, assistant
professor, Center for Peace and Security Studies at the Edmund
Walsh School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University.
Previously, she has served as a senior political scientist with
RAND Corporation, a political officer to the United Nations
Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, and as a member of the
International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Council on
Foreign Relations, and serves on the editorial board of Studies
in Conflict and Terrorism.
I will introduce each one just prior to their testimony,
and we know how soft-spoken you are, Dr. Fair, and how you
never cause any controversy, but you enlighten everyone, so you
may proceed. Five minutes.
STATEMENT OF C. CHRISTINE FAIR, PH.D., ASSISTANT PROFESSOR,
Ms. Fair. Sir, you are one of my favorite Republicans. We
don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but on the things we
see eye to eye on, we see eye to eye.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to speak
on this really important topic. As you noted, there aren't that
many folks that know about Baluchistan, there aren't that many
folks who know about Pakistan, and when this topic comes up, it
is usually focused on the war on terror in Afghanistan. So it
is nice to see that there is a hearing specifically dedicated
to this particular issue.
I have submitted a longer--very long written statement that
I request become part of the permanent record.
In that statement, I spend quite a bit of time trying to
map out what we know geographically, historically, and
demographically about Baluchistan. Unfortunately, we don't know
a lot, because the Pakistan census is terribly out of date, and
unfortunately the process of a census in Pakistan has become
But what we do know is that the Baluch ethnic group is the
largest ethnic group in the province. The exact numbers are
perhaps unknown. But we also know that, by any measure of human
development--and I put a few, just a sample in my testimony--by
any measure of human development, by any development, any
measure of economic development, Baluchistan always ranks below
the other provinces in Pakistan, with the perhaps exception of
In addition to that, as you note in your opening statement,
Baluchistan is actually a very large producer of resources.
Yet, ironically, even though Baluchistan produces about 40
percent of the country's gas, very few Baluch actually take
advantage of that gas because there is no infrastructure for
them to do so. So when you meet with folks from Baluchistan,
they will tell you the only time they get gas or electricity
hook-ups is when a cantonment comes to town. The army will
counter that it is very hard to spread that infrastructure
throughout a province which accounts for about 5 percent of
Pakistan's population but about 40 percent of the terrain. So
they will know that there are logistical challenges. Obviously,
the truth lies somewhere in between.
Baluchistan's appalling human rights record also stands
before us. We have Human Rights Watch here. We have Amnesty
International. Everyone knows about the forced abductions that
are going on. Everyone knows that Baluchistan has been a very
restive province from day one. Many Baluch didn't even want to
join the union of Pakistan.
In that sense, it shares a lot of similarities to Kashmir.
Kashmir was also forcibly annexed, and many of the challenges
that we see happening in Pakistan vis--vis Baluchistan could
also, I think, be said in some measure about the situation in
Curiously, what I find very puzzling about Pakistan is that
over the last--well, since 2004, the state has been waging a
pretty vicious counterinsurgency campaign against elements of
the so-called Pakistan Taliban, and it has generated quite a
bit of outrage among Pakistanis. Yet the last six decades of
episodic military use of force against Baluch insurgents
doesn't really cause that kind of outrage at all.
In fact, in my written statement, I provided a link to a
very fascinating BBC documentary that was called Ko Jaanta Hai,
Who Knows Baluchistan? They went around Lahore and they asked
folks, do you know what Baluchistan is? Can you name a city?
And it was actually appalling how few people knew where the
province was, that there was an insurgency, that people
couldn't even name the major city of Gwadar.
So you have this very interesting combination of the
ability of lethal force but yet you have very few people in
Pakistan who know about it.
A second related problem is that, because it has so few
people and because the representation in the National Assembly
is based upon population, it means that Baluchistan can never
have any heft in the National Assembly. While it has equal
representation in the Senate, as I am sure you know in Pakistan
the Senate has very little power.
Now, while we focus upon the abductions and the state-
sponsored human rights abuses, which are numerous, I do want to
point out, though, that this isn't the only kind of violence
which is happening in Pakistan or in Baluchistan. So the forced
disappearances I am sure my colleagues from Amnesty and from
Human Rights Watch will dilate upon them. But there are also
targeted killings that are unfortunately done by some Baluch.
I understand the sentiment that there is this perception
that they are being colonized by the Punjab, but,
unfortunately, there is a past dependency problem. Baluchistan
has a massive problem with education, right? So how do you
produce teachers from a province that doesn't have, on the
main, people who are adequately educated to produce the folks
who can subsequently become teachers? So there is a need for
teachers to come from other provinces in Baluchistan, but--I am
sure Human Rights Watch have written an entire report about
this--many of those teachers have been singled out because they
are Punjabi. It is not just teachers. It is also providers of
other human services. Police in particular are very vulnerable.
So I only--I don't only want to draw attention to the
targeted killing of one community by state forces, but in fact
we have a lot of acts of violence converging in Baluchistan.
Another one that doesn't get a lot of attention is also the
sectarian violence. Shia have paid a heavy price in Pakistan,
and we can continue to see this kind of violence happening in
Mr. Rohrabacher. I am afraid your 5 minutes is gone.
Ms. Fair. There we go.
Mr. Rohrabacher. We will come back. Hopefully, we will have
time for some questions and answers.
And I would also suggest, if the panel would like to,
during their 5 minutes, express something about what has
already been said, please feel free.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Fair follows:]
Mr. Rohrabacher. We have with us Ralph Peters, a writer,
strategist, media commentator, retired military officer. He is
the author of 28 books and approximately 1,000 columns,
articles, and essays. Being a writer, I can appreciate that,
He served in the U.S. Army for 22 years as an American--we
are grateful for that service--first as an enlisted man, then
as an officer, retiring shortly after his promotion to
lieutenant colonel. As a soldier, Ralph served in the infantry
and military intelligence units before becoming a foreign area
officer specializing in Russia and surrounding states.
He also served in the Executive Office of the President.
Special assignments took him to Southeast Asia, Central Asia,
to the Caucasus, to Pakistan, and Burma. He has traveled
extensively in the Muslim world as well as studying in India,
sub-Saharan Africa, and Indonesia. He has reported from various
conflict zones, including Iraq, Israel, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr. Peters, you have 5 minutes, and we look forward to
hearing your testimony.
STATEMENT OF MR. RALPH PETERS, MILITARY ANALYST AND AUTHOR
Mr. Peters. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate this
opportunity, and I am sure you will agree with me, as will
Congressman Carnahan, that such an important problem cannot be
approached in a partisan manner, and we ought to act as
Americans with our American values and bring those to bear, not
an ideology of any kind.
Let us start with the incontrovertible fact and that is
that Baluchistan is occupied territory. It never willingly
acceded to Pakistan, does not now wish to be part of Pakistan.
If a plebiscite or referendum were held tomorrow, it would vote
to leave Pakistan, as would every province and territory west
of the Indus River.
We have a fundamental problem in that we refuse to see
Pakistan for what it is. We imagine or pretend that it is a
legitimate state, really in our own image, a democracy, but it
is a democracy only as long as its military rulers allow it to
be a democracy.
It is, in fact, a miniature empire, a last artifact, along
with a few other countries around the world, of the imperial
age, with artificial borders which we defend, as we do
elsewhere, and I find it a travesty that our State Department
obsesses on the inviolability of borders around the world drawn
at Versailles or in Berlin in the 1880s or in the late 1940s.
How is it in the year of our Lord 2012 we send our troops
to bleed or die to defend the residue of the European world
order? And let me be clear. I do not argue that we should
actively campaign militarily to change every border in the
world. I argue that when the train is coming down the tracks
toward you, you are wise to step off the tracks.
In the last two decades since the end of the Cold War, the
United States of America, the greatest force for freedom in
human history, every war and conflict in which we have engaged
has been triggered by or exacerbated by these flawed European
borders. How can we send our soldiers and Marines and Navy
corpsmen to die for that? That is not who we are.
What is Pakistan? Pakistan is bisected by the Indus River.
To the east of the Indus River is metropolitan, core Pakistan,
the Punjab, and to a great extent the province of Sindh. It is
the world of the subcontinent. It is a different civilization
from that west of the Indus River.
West of the Indus River in the occupied territories you
have the culture of central and mid Asia. When you cross the
Indus River either way, even the food is different. And we look
at this occupied territory of Baluchistan specifically where
people who simply yearn for fundamental freedoms, for the right
to determine their own future, whether or not they have a
battery of qualified teachers ready to go. We must admire their
determination to sacrifice everything against enormous odds in
Pakistan and Iran for the simple right to say, I am a Baluch; I
will decide my own future.
Instead, we face--we support Pakistan, their oppressor, a
state that actively supports and arms terrorists and insurgent
movements in Afghanistan that kill and maim our own soldiers.
The Pakistani Government is not our friend. It is not the
friend of the Baluch or the other subjugated peoples west of
the Indus River. The Durand line, of course, which divides
Pakistan and Afghanistan is artificial. It divides people who
want to be together.
Mr. Chairman, my time is running out, so let me simply say
this last thing.
Two hundred years ago, one of our greatest Presidents faced
a problem. The Barbary pirates refused to let our ships pass in
peace, so we paid tribute money to let our goods pass. Thomas
Jefferson put a stop to that.
Today, we are paying tribute money again, this time to the
Pakistani pirates to let our goods pass to Afghanistan. Mr.
Chairman, I am looking for a Thomas Jefferson.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Peters follows:]
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, and I am looking for
William Eaton myself. That was pretty deep there.
Mr. Peters. Mr. Chairman, I am trying to be----
Mr. Rohrabacher. All right. Thank you very much. I
appreciate you softening your remarks and making them so nobody
really knows where you are coming from. Great.
Both of our witnesses have been very tough, and that is the
way you want to be. You want to be up front. Because if people
are hiding what their real beliefs are, trying to couch it, we
are never going to--people aren't going to understand what the
reality is if we are trying to not make other people angry, but
we want to make sure all of us are educated to that.
The next witness is Mr. T. Kumar. Mr. T. Kumar, who I know
very well, an advocacy director for Asia Pacific, for Amnesty
International, who is a persona here on the Hill and a champion
of human rights. He has worked in several Asian and African
countries and served as a human rights monitor in many Asian
countries as well as Bosnia, Haiti, Guatemala, South Africa.
Kumar is frequently lecturing at the Foreign Service
Institute where U.S. diplomats are trained and often testifies
before the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
He holds an advanced degree in law from the University of
Pennsylvania Law School, and you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF MR. T. KUMAR, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL ADVOCACY,
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
Mr. Kumar. Thank you very much, Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and Members of Congress, when I saw the
announcement about having a hearing on Baluchistan, it came
back to Afghanistan during the time when Afghanistan was
forgotten by the entire world. Chairman, you understand what
happened after the collapse of Soviet Union.
The people of Baluchistan were going through nightmare for
the years, torture, disappearances, extra-judicial executions,
but the world refused to look at them. Leave alone Pakistanis.
Even the Pakistani civil society was limited--there were some
exceptions--did not speak up about the plight of Baluchis that
they wound up going--massive disappearances. Disappearance
means to kidnap people or arrest people and never be heard
Hundreds disappeared. We have documented recently--we are
talking about after the so-called democracy came to Pakistan--
almost 250 disappearances in a year's time. And extra-judicial
So the brutality was continuing in Baluchistan, despite the
fact that it is just next door to Afghanistan, where U.S. has
enormous interest and Pakistan, again, enormous interest. So on
that note, we are pleased and honored that you are holding this
hearing to bring attention to the plight of Baluchistan.
What's happening to Baluch people? It is a kill and dump
operation. It is a terror mechanism that the Pakistani military
and the intelligence officers who use to terrorize the local
population. It may be for a political reason because some
people, maybe a majority of Baluch, may be asking for
By the way, on that note, Amnesty International, as a human
rights organization, does not take position on whether a
country is independent or not.
But, having said that, they brutalize the population
because the population wanted some opening in their political
aspirations. Then when people speak up, the weapons that were
used against them were, unfortunately, manufactured in the U.S.
and given to by the U.S.
A couple of years ago when the disappearance was high
rocketing in Baluchistan, the Baluchistan Governor was here. So
I asked him actually at USIP, I asked him where the--whose
weapons are you using? He said, oh, it is American weapons. The
reason is no conditions were put on it.
So it is a matter of principle that Congress can put some
requirement that no U.S. weapons should be used in Baluchistan
in abusing its own citizens. That is something you can do. You
won't get permission from the State Department.
Speaking about State Department, they were in sleep for
years, not only now, earlier on as well. When Senator Baloch,
Sana Baloch, was invited again to USIP, they refused to give
him visa to come and testify. He is a Senator, elected Senate.
So there are concerns that even U.S. over the years have
ignored for different political reasons.
So now the time has come through this hearing and through
other mechanisms. We hope the State will also--the
administration will also change its policy, not about any
political questions there but primarily talking about the
plight of Baluchis and how to stop abuses that are happening
There are also other people who are involved in abusing the
human rights in that area. One group is, obviously, the group
that fight for independence. These are Baluch nationalists.
They were the prime victims of abuse. At the same time, there
are reports that they also targeted killing of Punjabis and
So it is a time that Baluch population examined themselves,
that since you have been abused, you know the value of human
rights. You should speak up and to stop the abuses against
anyone. It could be anyone.
I know my time is up. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Kumar follows:]
Mr. Rohrabacher. Your time is up. That was left on a good
note--no, no, don't applaud--because challenging people who
want to have their human rights respected, challenging them to
respect human rights of others is a really important point, and
you just made that.
We have two other witnesses, and then we will go into our
questions and answers.
We are joined, in the meantime, by another Member of
Congress, a champion of American commitment to freedom and
democracy, a real patriot from Texas, and a man of the law,
Judge Poe. In fact, both Congressman Gohmert and Judge Poe are
both former judges, and so when we talk about the law and the
violations of human rights, they shine out with their expertise
as well as their passion. So we are very happy to have you join
us, Your Honor, and we will proceed with the witnesses right
now so we can get through this and then go on to questions and
Mr. Rohrabacher. We have Dr. Hossein Bor, a lawyer active
in facilitating trade, investment, and project development
between American corporations and their counterparts from Gulf
Dr. Bor previously served as an adjunct professor of law at
the Catholic University of America and was the energy and
economic adviser to the Embassy of Qatar in Washington, DC,
from 1982 to 1998. He has written extensively on various issues
relating to the Middle East, including a treatise on Iran and
nationalities. He holds a Ph.D. and degrees from both American
University and Washington University.
And you may proceed, Dr. Bor.
STATEMENT OF M. HOSSEIN BOR, PH.D., COUNSEL, ENTWISTLE &
Mr. Bor. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. This is a great
honor and pleasure to speak on behalf of the Baluch. I am of
course an American Baluch myself, and thank you for the
As you know, Baluchistan is the most really--the Baluch
people are the most persecuted, oppressed, and neglected
peoples in the Middle East and South Asia; and of course you,
Mr. Chairman, gave a very good overview of Baluch history. The
only thing I can add, Baluch look at their history in one term.
Baluch era or Baluch Doura means the era when the Baluch ruled
themselves, and their institutions and values were supreme in
Baluchistan, and the post-Baluch era, which is the era of
colonialism and, of course, the subsequent division and
forceful incorporation into Iran and Afghanistan and, of
And, of course, before the advent of colonialism you should
also notice that the Baluch were independent. Like Europe,
there were several feudal states, and in many eras also in the
14th, 15th century you had a large confederacy of Baluchi state
and Durand, extending from Kirman in the east, in Persia, to
the Indus Valley, and that is also the current boundaries of
Baluchistan as a whole.
And, of course, as you well know, Baluchistan was divided
by the British into three parts. Goldsmid Line, drawn in 1871
by the British colonial officers, divided Baluchistan between
Iran and British India; and of course the Durand Line, drawn
also by the British in 1894, divided Baluchistan between
British India and Afghanistan. And of course Baluch, ever
since, they have been struggling to regain their lost freedom
to reassert the Baluch control over their homeland,
Baluchistan, and to preserve their language and culture.
And the Baluch have never accepted or recognized either the
Goldsmid Line, dividing the Baluch between Iran and Pakistan,
nor the Durand Line, separating north and Baluchistan. This is
reflected in four insurrections by the Baluch against Pakistan
in 1948, 1958, 1973, and 2005 insurgency, which is continuing
and growing in strength each day. Like Baluch, Afghanistan and
nationalist Pashtuns in Pakistan also do not recognize the
Of course, my colleagues, they well articulated the plight
of human rights in Baluchistan and the egregious violation of
Baluch human rights by Pakistani army and the Pakistani
Government. The only thing I can add, according to a report
published by the Asian Human Rights Commission on January 31st
last month, it says that the extrajudicial killings of
disappeared persons in Baluchistan include 23 bullet-riddled
bodies found during the first month of this year, during
January, 56 mutilated bodies during the last 6 months, and 271
bodies since July, 2010. That tells you about the extent of the
brutality. And according, of course, to Baluch sources, the
figures are much higher, and since 2001 about 4,000 Baluch have
been--have disappeared, and this is a continuing problem, and
that is one of the main reasons that the Baluch----
Mr. Rohrabacher. Excuse me, you said from 2001 to the
present date how many?
Mr. Bor. 4,000.
Mr. Rohrabacher. 4,000 people have disappeared.
Mr. Bor. Yes, sir.
And, of course, this is one of the main impediments to
Baluch leaders negotiating with weak civilian government in
Pakistan. Until these issues are resolved to the satisfaction
of the aggrieved Baluch families, no Baluch leader would dare
to negotiate with the Pakistani Government.
And of course they also--as they stated, Baluchistan is one
of the most richest lands in the world--oil, aluminum, gold,
coal--but it is exploited for the benefit of non-Baluch in
Punjab. And even though the Baluchistan account for 30 percent
of the natural gas exploited in Pakistan, Baluchistan saves
only 17 percent. The rest, even the British colonialists were
not so greedy and brutal, and that is why the Baluchistan
remain the most--the least developed region in Pakistan. There
is no really basic industries to talk about. And of course that
is one of the main reasons for the ongoing insurgency in
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bor follows:]
Mr. Rohrabacher. That is the end of your 5 minutes right
now, so we will have to move on during the questions and
By the way, all of--with unanimous consent, the entire--
your entire statements will be put into the record. So when you
get a record of the hearing, your entire statement will be in
We now turn to Ali Dayan Hasan. He is the Pakistan director
of Asia division of Human Rights Watch. Before taking over as
Pakistan director, he served as Human Rights Watch for south
Asia as a researcher and that he did since 2003 and specialized
Before joining the Human Rights Watch, Hasan was a senior
editor at Pakistan's premier independent political news
monthly, the Herald; and during 2006-2007 he was also a
visiting scholar from Oxford, University of Oxford, and has a
BA from the London School of Economics and a master's degree
from St. Antony's College in Oxford.
And we welcome you, and you have 5 minutes.
STATEMENT OF MR. ALI DAYAN HASAN, PAKISTAN DIRECTOR, ASIA
DIVISION, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Mr. Hasan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me this
I have listened with care to what my colleagues--fellow
witnesses have had to say. I would like to clarify at the
outset that my testimony is based on my experiences as someone
who has researched extensively on human rights abuses in
Baluchistan, often on the ground in the province itself.
Now, at the outset, because there has been this question of
independence that has been raised, I want to clarify that Human
Rights Watch, as an international human rights organization,
takes no position on this particular issue of independence. We
understand that Baluchistan is an internationally recognized
part of Pakistan, and we expect the Pakistani Government to
adhere to all human rights protections within the Pakistani
Constitution and as mandated by international law.
We have also found the Pakistani state, particularly the
military, entirely lacking in this department. Baluchistan
presents a hydra-headed conflict situation. There are multiple
actors perpetrating violence in there, but the engine of human
rights abuse, no doubt, is the Pakistani military,
paramilitaries, and intelligence agencies. They have run,
particularly since 2004, a campaign of enforced disappearances
where at least hundreds of Baluch nationalists have
In the last 1\1/2\ years, we have seen targeted killings
increase, and something between 200 and 300 Baluch opponents of
the Pakistani state have been found killed, and of course
torture and illegal detention by the military and
paramilitaries and intelligence agencies are commonplace. This
is an absolutely appalling situation, even by Pakistani
standards, and certainly when you are operating in Baluchistan
you do see that the military in many ways behaves like a brutal
occupying military. That is its behavior.
All of this is a very serious problem. I would, however,
point out that in the latest spike, the issue of disappearances
became commonplace in Pakistan, and in Baluchistan in
particular, because of the license provided by the U.S., the
U.K., and other powers in the context of the war on terror
where the disappearance and legal detention of Taliban and Al
Qaeda suspects was green-lighted effectively by the U.S. This
gave the Pakistani military carte blanche, if you will, to
extend such abusive operations to its own political opponents,
which include Baluch nationalists.
Having said that, there are also multiple abuses--though of
course I must clarify that there is no comparison between the
abuses perpetrated by the state and other actors--but there are
abuses that we have documented by Baluch nationalist militants,
particularly attacks against education personnel and against
other non-Baluch residents of the province.
Now, non-Baluch residents of the province are not a small
minority. We are talking of--although there is contentious
figures because of a lack of census--something about 40 percent
at least of the population of Baluch.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Did you say 40 or 14?
Mr. Hasan. Four-zero.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Four-zero.
Mr. Hasan. Four-zero percent of the population of
Baluchistan--this is an approximation--are non-Baluch at least.
So this is a very, very complex situation now. Non-Baluch,
particularly Punjabi settlers and Urdu-speaking settlers in
Baluchistan, are living equally in fear of their lives because
of fear of attack from Baluch nationalists.
Finally, there is the issue of religious militant groups,
particularly Sunni militant groups, that are attacking the
Shia, largely Hazara, but Shia in general. And these militant
groups often do act, it is alleged and widely believed, at--in
conjunction with or at the behest of the Pakistani military,
but they also act independently. The basic problem is that if
the Pakistani state takes Baluchistan seriously, it must
enforce rights respecting rule of law in the province. It has
abjectly failed to do so, and this is creating a human rights
crisis across Baluchistan.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hasan follows:]
Mr. Rohrabacher. Good. That is a good point to end your
I want to thank all of you for participating today. There
will be votes coming up soon, so we want to try to get involved
with some questions right away. I will just do a few, and the
ranking member, and we will make sure that other congressmen
get a chance as well.
I think one point, I like to read history. I mean, I like
to read history, and Mr. Peters was expressing--was talking
about Thomas Jefferson and such. I agree with you, Dr. Peters,
or Mr. Peters, I should say, or Colonel Peters. I think that
our Founding Fathers and most of the people who built this
country would be turning over in their grave if they found out
that we were sending American military personnel in order to
maintain the colonial boundaries that were established by the
people we had to fight in order to become independent.
And many of the conflicts that we have throughout the world
today--I agree with you, Colonel Peters--that can be traced
right back to the colonial era with decisions that were made by
colonial powers. And then we end up in conflicts like this, and
especially if the United States intervenes in order to maintain
a status quo of borderlines, which is what we seem to be doing.
This is not consistent with our national interests or our
traditions at all, and I think America needs to reexamine this
issue and have a heartfelt debate internally about what should
motivate America to get involved.
But one thing is for sure. When someone is helping kill
Americans or threatening to set up some sort of dictatorship
over--for whatever cause, Americans, we should not be on their
side in helping them. And I think that what broke--the straw
that broke the camel's back was when we found out that not only
has Pakistan been arming those Taliban and other radicals that
have been murdering American soldiers in Afghanistan, but they
have given aid and comfort and safe haven to the man who
masterminded the slaughter of 3,000 Americans. And anybody who
doesn't believe that they did that is an irrational optimist
about what is going on down there.
I think that at that point we need to understand that we
cannot back up everything that Pakistan does simply because
something might disturb the lines that were drawn so long ago
and that would create instability. With that said, thank you.
Would you like to comment on that?
Mr. Peters. If I may.
Mr. Rohrabacher. But you only have about 20 seconds to do
Mr. Peters. Mr. Chairman, you like to read history. Today,
you are making history.
Not only does Pakistan facilitate terrorism in Afghanistan
while playing triple and quadruple games, but we shouldn't lose
sight of the fact that Pakistan has made us complicit in
terrorism against India. Because Pakistan, using the nuclear
red herring, knows that they have been able to sponsor attacks
against New Delhi, against Mumbai, and knowing we will step in
and stop India from retaliating. Imagine how different it would
be if the Pakistanis didn't think they could count on us to run
Mr. Rohrabacher. I think that is a good point.
Let me just end my questions and answers with this thought,
and it has been expressed by our witnesses. If we are going to
be taken seriously when we talk like this we have to be
consistent and we have to be honest.
And I certainly--whether it is the Sindh Province or
Baluchistan or what is going on in the Baluch Province in Iran
or what is going on in the Baluch Province in Pakistan, people
have a right to their self-determination, which is what is
being testified today. Let's note, I think that people of
Kashmir also have a right to their self-determination, and I
think Dr. Fair might want to comment on that.
Ms. Fair. I am going to focus my comments upon our
relationship with Pakistan.
Mr. Rohrabacher. 30 seconds, then we have got to move on.
Ms. Fair. But I do want to say one thing. The Leahy
amendment. For the last several years, I have been looking at
our relationship with Pakistan; and we have been very negligent
in taking the Leahy amendment seriously. Whether we are looking
at Pakistan abuses in FATA or Swat, talking to officials, we
don't even populate the Leahy database or we have begun doing
so quite late in the game.
But the problem goes back to what Ali Dayan was saying, is
that, in many ways, Pakistan's abuse of human rights served our
interest. And so we are kind of coming to this late in the
game, that we are trying to ask the Pakistanis to clean up
their act after we have given them a blank check for about a
decade, literally a blank check for about a decade.
Mr. Rohrabacher. That is correct. I think we have been
manipulated for a longer than that.
We have about 8 minutes before we have to be on the floor
for a vote. Would you like to ask a couple of questions?
Mr. Carnahan. I have a question. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
will do this very quickly to try to get some other people in as
I wanted to go to Dr. Bor. In 2008, in written testimony
before Congress, you wrote about the political, cultural, and
economic oppression of the Baluch people at the hands of the
Iranian regime. I am interested in hearing what, if anything,
has changed in the past 4 years; and, secondly, with regard to
the Baluchistan areas in Iran, how do you see their sentiment
in terms of being open to working with the West?
Mr. Bor. I think Baluch in general, whether in Iran or in
Pakistan, they are very open-hearted. They have welcomed U.S.
support with open arm. And they have also expressed their
desire that if Baluchistan become independent to provide the
U.S. with bases in Gwadar. And, of course, as you know,
Baluchistan strategically probably is the most important piece
of the land in the world now, stretching from the Strait of
Hormuz to Karachi; and that is where 40 percent of the world
Unfortunately, the Chinese are building a naval base or
they are building Gwadar. And even more dangerous for the U.S.
strategy interest is connecting the overland Karakoram Highway
to Gwadar, so that instead of being through U.S. Navy in
Pacific and in Indian Oceans through the Indian Navy so they
can come directly there, and that is the choke Strait of
Hormuz. So the Baluch have--historically, in fact they have
And of course I notice a perfect coincidence of interest
between Baluch and the U.S. Because Baluch, they don't want the
pipeline to go from Iran to Pakistan in violation of U.S.
sanction. The Baluch, of course, they are secular. They are
against a Pakistan-Taliban alliance because they are secular,
and they want to fight Taliban. If the U.S. supported Baluch
they can stop Taliban shelter by ISI and Pakistani Government
Mr. Carnahan. Thank you.
Mr. Rohrabacher. All right. We have time, and I apologize,
but you never know when votes are going to be called. We have
about 3 more minutes worth of questions and answers, and I am
going to grant Louie Gohmert 1 minute. You came in first,
Louie, so you are first.
Oh, the Judge has something he has to say. Judge Poe has 1
minute and then Louie Gohmert.
Mr. Poe. Thank you for being here.
I want to say this. I am a great believer in self-
determination for people who believe in it as well. Baluchistan
I think fits that category. Somebody over there in Baluchistan
has been reading the Declaration of Independence that gives a
justification on a moral and legal reason why people can
separate themselves from abusive governments. So we will see
how that plays out.
As far as Pakistan goes, they are the Benedict Arnold in
the relationship with the United States. Ten years and $20
billion later, we are still paying them to not look out after
They persecuted the informant that gave us the information
about Osama Bin Laden and charged him with treason. I mean, how
long is it going to take before we get the point?
We don't need to continue to give American money to
Pakistan at all, not a dime. And they have proven they don't
deserve it, and it is not in our national interest.
And the third comment is the United States, as one of you
all has said, needs to look to India as a supporter and as an
ally on not just the economic front but the war on terror as
And, lastly, Mr. Peters, you will never make it as a
diplomat in the State Department.
Mr. Peters. Congressman, I am proud to be a soldier, not a
Mr. Poe. Thank you. I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Rohrabacher. See, it is always great to have Texans
around. They just step right up.
And here is another one, Louie Gohmert.
Mr. Gohmert. Thank you, and I couldn't agree with my fellow
former judge from Texas more.
It is greatly disturbing to hear that weapons that we have
provided to Pakistan have been utilized to create human rights'
violations. That is particularly disturbing. That is not what
this Nation is about. And it would seem to me that since we are
trying to get out of Afghanistan and turn that country over to
them, the quicker we could stop assisting Pakistan in funding
the Taliban that we are trying to fight, which is also creating
human rights' violations against Baluchistan, it sounds like we
could create a real win for the United States, Baluchistan,
Baluchs, for people of Afghanistan if we just quit helping
Pakistan help all of our enemies.
So I appreciate your testimony. I look forward to anything
additionally they may have to submit.
Mr. Rohrabacher. We have 3 minutes before we have to be on
the floor to vote, so I will give a 30-second summary.
First of all, thank you to the witnesses. There was a lot
of trepidation by people before we held this hearing. I got so
many emails threatening all sorts of crazy things and worrying
that some people would be represented. We learned a lot by this
hearing. We put a lot of stuff on the record.
This is not to plot out some sort of conspiracy. What we
are here to discuss is start a national dialogue in the open
about what America's policy should be in this very volatile
part of the world and where our ideals for human dignity and
freedom and justice and self-determination, where they fit into
our policies in that part of the world.
So we have started the discussion today. I think this
hearing was a first good step, and it was certainly not a stunt
on anybody's part. We honestly really were going to try to get
into these issues.
So I want to thank you all for coming, and I am sorry we do
have to run off for our votes right now.
This hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 3:45 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing RecordNotice deg.