US Congress subcommittee takes up issue of forced disappearances in Pakistan: report


WASHINGTON: The alleged disappearances of political activists in Pakistan surfaced in a US Congress subcommittee on Wednesday afternoon, as lawmakers urged the Trump administration to raise this issue with Islamabad, according to a report by a private media outlet.

At this special hearing of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, lawmakers also accused Pakistan of continuing to allow Afghan extremists to destabilise the government in Kabul, a charge raised at a Senate hearing on Tuesday as well. The lawmakers also backed President Donald Trump’s January 4 decision to suspend security assistance to Pakistan.

As relations between the two countries strained, US lawmakers, think-tanks and media too have started taking a keen interest in Pakistan’s domestic politics, highlighting the grievances of smaller political, religious and ethnic groups.

Such groups have also become active in the US capital and other cities, holding protest meetings and marches. Although such meetings are always tiny, the dissidents are often invited to air their views at larger congressional meetings and media platforms. But congressional hearings like the one held on Wednesday afternoon are rare.