***PRESS RELEASE*** Rep. Rohrabacher to DHS: Don't Use Visas as Political Weapon Against Baluchs
Washington, May 10 - Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano inquiring about the 2008 incident when the representative to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization for Baluchistan, Noordin Mengal, was denied entry into the United States. Mr. Mengal is a British citizen and carried a British passport, but was still detained entry at Newark’s Liberty Airport and put on a flight out of the United States. Additionally, in 2010 Mr. Mengal was denied a visa to come to the United States specifically to address a meeting sponsored by an organization associated with a major university regarding human rights in Baluchistan. He was personally invited by the highly respected organizer of the event.
Rep. Rohrabacher wrote to Secretary Napolitano that our government needs to “end its partnership with the ISI in repressing the Baluchi people. We must allow eligible Baluchi leaders to come to the US.”
The people of Baluchistan oppose the Mullah regime in Iran and the military dictatorship in Islamabad. It appears that Mr. Mengal has not been allowed to enter in US in order to avoid offending the Pakistani government.
“The people of Baluchistan are not the enemy of the US; they are our allies in the region,” said Rohrabacher. “We should not be throwing roadblocks against the enemies of our enemies by denying them entry in the United States.”
Rep. Rohrabacher, together with Rep. Steve King and Rep. Louie Gohmert, introduced legislation on February 17, 2012 expressing the sense of Congress that the people of Baluchistan have a “right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country.”
Rep. Rohrabacher is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee which held a hearing on Baluchistan on February 8, 2012.