(CNSNews.com) – Members of Congress expressed their concerns that the F-16 military jets and other weapons the U.S. provides to Pakistan are being used “against their own people” in Baluchistan during a hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday.
The hearing on the future of U.S.-Pakistan relations was held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
After Richard Olson, the State Department's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, stated that “with all the challenges of the relationship, I think it's most important for the U.S. to be engaged still and to build a partnership with Pakistan,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) responded:
“The fact is that Pakistan has, from its very beginning, been plagued with corruption and oppression by its own government. The brutality and corruption in Pakistan was so bad that early on in 1971, the people of Bangladesh couldn’t take it anymore.
"And their uprising was, of course, answered not by trying to reform their government but instead by brutal suppression which led to the independence of Bangladesh,” said Rohrabacher, who who chairs the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.
“I see similar type of sentiments with the situation arising with the people of Baluchistan.
"There are now these F-16s that the judge [Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) ] was talking about, those F-16s and the military equipment that we are providing Pakistan are being used against their own people, just like they did against the people over there in Bangladesh,” said Rohrabacher.
“If we were thwarted in trying to bring to justice Osama bin Laden, it would have been because the Pakistanis were using American jets to shoot our people down,
“We calculated on that. That was not out of the realm of possibility. And the fact that that is the reality of it and we end up giving them billions of dollars of military equipment, no wonder they don't respect us,” Rohrabacher continued.
Earlier in the hearing, Poe said: “I want to be very specific in what I am concerned about, and that is, the sale of American fighter jets to Pakistan or the giving of American fighter jets to Pakistan through military aid. That military aid is then used in the United States to buy those jets.
“And I use the example of Osama bin Laden; Pakistanis and their military hid him out and the United States didn't tell Pakistan we were going after him because they'd have moved him.
“We sent helicopters over there, the raid was successful and Pakistan scrambles two American made F-16s to intercept the helicopters, the Americans were able to get away and there could have been a confrontation,” said Poe.