“Our view on this has not changed, and you know where we’ve been on Balochistan. We encourage all the parties in Balochistan to work out their differences peacefully and through a valid political process,” Ms Nuland said. “Within Pakistan?” she was asked. “Correct,” she replied. - File photo

 

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has distanced itself from a congressional hearing on Balochistan and opposed the idea of independent Balochistan, adding that the problems of the province should be resolved through peaceful and political means.

At news briefing in Washington, the department’s spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the US administration had not changed its policy and continued to see Balochistan as part of the Pakistani state.

“What is the US administration’s position on this? Do you support the demand for an independent Balochistan carved out of Pakistan?” Ms Nuland was asked.

“Our view on Balochistan has not changed. We are aware of this hearing. As you know, Congress holds hearings on many foreign affairs topics. These hearings don’t necessarily imply that the US government endorses one view or another view. I’d underscore that the State Department is not participating or involved in this hearing,” she said.

“For our part, just refer you to some comments I made on Twitter a couple of weeks ago with regard to our unchanged position on Balochistan. We emphasise that the United States engages with Pakistan on a whole range of issues, including ways to foster economic development and expand opportunity in Balochistan.”

“Was anyone from the State Department invited to this hearing?” she was asked.

“I do not know the answer to that. I don’t think so,” the US official said. “So does it mean that you do not support a demand for an independent Balochistan?” she was asked again.

“Our view on this has not changed, and you know where we’ve been on Balochistan. We encourage all the parties in Balochistan to work out their differences peacefully and through a valid political process,” Ms Nuland said. “Within Pakistan?” she was asked. “Correct,” she replied.

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