Poorly-trained U.S. officials of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection are not only wasting taxpayers monies, but also undermining national security by not knowing about hotbeds of tension in the Middle East, U.S. senators and civil rights organizations have been informed.
In an incident earlier this week at the Niagara Falls checkpost in New York, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer took umbrage over the design of a T-shirt.
According to the pro-independence American Friends of Balochistan, a Baloch freedom activist was asked about a T-shirt that showed the burning Twin Towers after the 911 attacks with "Paki army did this" written under the picture.
A security officer, Officer Moore of the K-9 unit, mistook the meaning of the very simple message on the T-shirt to mean the passenger was proud of the Pakistani army achievement on 911. He also thought the Baloch freedom activist is a Pakistani because of his passport, according to the A.F.B.
To the contrary, Baloch hate carrying Pakistanis or Iranian passport and believe the 911 attacks were actually a Pakistani operation since the al Qaeda was controlled by the Pakistani spy service Inter Services Intelligence.
The officials also asked about a banner that read "Free Balochistan; Stop Barrick" thinking that Barrick meant Barrack Obama, whereas it stands for Canada's shame Barrick Gold Corporation which ventured through the backdoor into Balochistan during the regime of military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf..
In letters to U.S. senators and premeier civic rights organization the pro-independence Balochistan organization protested against the lack of knowledge of U.S. Customs & Border Protection about international issues.
The A.F.B. sent a letter to U.S. senators from New York, Charles e Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, among other high-ranking senators.
Copies of the letter were also sent out American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom Forum, and Human Rights Watch.
The A.F.B. letter reads;
I am writing this open letter to you and other U.S. senators as I am anguished over the lack of knowledge of the U.S. border security personnel posted at Niagara Falls, NY -- and I believe elsewhere on U.S. borders -- about international affairs.
Knowledge is power but the border personnel seem not have any inkling about international affairs, especially Middle Eastern affairs. This not only is a drain on tax-payers monies, but also undermines U.S. national security interests as in these treacherous times ignorance can not be treated as bliss.
I am from Balochistan, a Texas-sized occupied territory in Pakistan and Iran. We also have a Balochistan inside Afghanistan.
Balochistan as you might understand means the land of the Baloch.
The secular Baloch people abhor mixing religion and politics and that is one main reason we do not want to have any truck with the Islamic republics of Pakistan and Iran, where we are under illegal political occupation. The trail of blood and tears over the last six decades have left tens of thousands of Baloch patriots dead, especially in Pakistan part of Occupied Balochistan. Precious little has changed since Pakistan’s return to civilian rule as more than 1,000 Baloch patriots who were Forcefully and Involuntarily Disappeared still remain missing. Additionally scores disappeared since the election of the civilian government.
On May 10, 2010 as I was travelling from the U.S.A. to Canada I was stopped at the border at Niagara Falls, NY, primarily because of my Pakistani passport that I hate.
But one incident disturbed me even more.
As a veteran Baloch journalist and founder of the American Friends of Balochistan, I am fully convinced that Pakistan army was involved in the horrific 911 attacks on the USA.
In my baggage I was carrying a self-designed T-shirt that carried the image of the burning towers with "Paki army did this" written under the picture.
This highly infuriated a border security officer, named officer Moore of the K-9,, who began drilling me bully style.
He warned that i could not walk in Niagara Falls wearing the T-shirt, although the message was clear that we believe Pakistan was involved in the horrific attacks.
I did have to point out to Officer Moore about the freedom of belief and freedom of expression enshrined in the U.s. statutes that have been practised as sacrosanct principles for American public and political life.
We Baloch have been against the Inter Services-intelligence even when many here in the U.S. were courting the Pakistanis. Unfortunately, many in the political hierarchy still support arms supplies to Pakistan and we believe it is because those on the board of the major arms suppliers are their campaign contributors.
It is our considered opinion that all arms supplies to the rogue military of Pakistan must be stopped and aid to it under the Kerry-Lugar Bill must be stopped for its gross human rights violations in Occupied Balochistan.
Also I was carrying a banner that read "Free Balochistan -- Stop Barrick" upon which I had to explain to the officers Barrick did not stand for Barrack Obama but for Canada’s shame called Barrick Gold Corporation as it has entered gold and copper mining in Balochistan through the backdoors courtesy a crony of the previous General Pervez Musharraf military regime, DC-based Pakistani businessman named Muslim Lakhani.
Our major concern is that U.S. border security personnel must be nice and polite with everyone unless the person is proven dangerous; they must not mistake Baloch as Pakistanis or Iranian regardless of their passport; they must know the story about the illegal occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan and Iran and the independence struggle underway there; they must also be able to differentiate between secular Baloch activists and the Islamists and terrorists of Pakistan and Iran; the border security personnel must not transgress their authority and question people about their T-shirts or banners as it violates the fundamental human rights guaranteed under the U.S. constitution and is a huge waste of taxpayers monies.
In conclusion I must reiterate, the Baloch people are determined to regain their political independence, which they enjoyed before the British set their dirty foot on southwest and south Asia two centuries ago. I hope the U.S. will show respect towards the national aspirations of the Baloch people and talk to their resistance leaders directly."
Meanwhile, Malik Baloch of Houston, Texas, a ranking presiding council member of the A.F.B. said it was regrettable that the oppressed Baloch people are being confused as Pakistanis or Iranians for no fault of their own. "Baloch people of Balochistan are a secular people and have no truck with the Islamic republics of Pakistan," he said.
He said on the one hand a corrupt political system in the U.S.A. encourages those on the board of directors of U.S. arms manufacturing companies like Lockheed Martin to contribute handsome amounts to elections of members of Congress, who then close their eyes to the threats from Pakistan and support arms shipments to Pakistan, and on the other hand Baloch are scapegoated for being Pakistanis or Iranians just because their homeland is under Islamabad and Teheran military boots.
"Enough is enough. Freedom of Balochistan must become a part of the agenda of the State Department, Pentagon and other relevant U.S. agencies," Malik Baloch demanded of U.S. senators and congressmen.