Dec 24, 2008, 13:57
While the U.S is facing an economic meltdown and people are hoping for better days under incoming President Obama, thousands of miles away in Pakistan things are going from bad to worst. Pakistan is always in the news in western media but unfortunately most of the news is extremely biased. The reports that emerge from Western think tanks on Pakistan are mostly one-sided and reflective of U.S Foreign Policy rather than independent analysis.
Pakistan became a frontline ally of U.S after 9/11. Since then things have been moving in the wrong direction to say the least. Under Former President Musharraf, Pakistan started using its army against insurgents and Taliban sympathizers in Northern Tribal belt area of Pakistan, commonly known as FATA (federally administrated tribal areas). This resulted in a deadly wave of terrorism directed against Pakistani people and the army itself. Vast majority of the Pakistani public just like the majority of the Muslim world views U.S war on terror as a War against Islam.
The primary reason for this is that Muslim world does not see any justification for U.S troops to be stationed in almost all of the Middle East with few exceptions like Iran, and Syria. Secondly, Bush administrations’ lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction has proved to be a fatal blow for U.S image in the Muslim world. The common man on the street views U.S as an aggressor nation and compares U.S military adventurism in the Middle East with Imperial history of United Kingdom, and other European Nations. U.S public needs to realize that Muslim world was under colonial rule for the most part of the nineteenth century and early part of twentieth century, until the end of the Second World War; hence the public is extremely suspicious of U.S troop’s presence in Muslim world and U.S continued support of corrupt, incompetent rulers of the Muslim world.
The Schism: The people and the Zardari government
Pakistan is a country with 180 million people, nuclear weapons, and half million army. Pakistani population is turning against the Pakistani government which is seen as a spokesman of Washington D.C. To give the readers some idea of how the Pakistani population looks at this Zardari government I will quote some slogans and jargons that are used by the public in Pakistan. This government of President Zardari which the U.S is supporting just like they supported Ngo Dinh in South Vietnam is called “sellout to the CIA”, “mouth piece of the U.S”, “slaves of the Yankees”, and the harshest of all the slogans “Traitors”. This is the opinion of the common man on the streets of Pakistan against the current government. The International Republican Institute Survey on Pakistan that came out recently also reflects this trend. In the survey
- 88% of the Pakistani population thinks that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
- 59% think that the economic situation of the country will get worst. 76% think that the current government has performed poorly.
- 67% think that things will not get better under this “democratic” setup and lastly,
- 54% of the population thinks that peace deal with the extremist is a better option than the Army operation that is going on in FATA.
The U.S plans to neutralize Pakistan, as it has done so before with other countries. U.S officials are talking openly about disbanding Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the ISI; the U.S is constantly raising concern for the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and, the U.S wants to cut down Pakistan army into half, transforming it from a professional army to a counter-terrorism force.
The U.S. historical treatment of its allies
Andrew G. Marshall is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). His recent article on Middle East and Pakistan gives us inside to the plan that will be executed under new U.S administration. Marshall’s article mentions that Pakistan is being destabilized under the same plan that was used to destabilize former Yugoslavia.
“As astonishing and outlandish as these claims may seem, the U.S has a long history of turning on its allies when they seek to become self-sufficient and developed, such as with Saddam Hussein and Iraq in the early 1990s. Also, it is vital to note the role of the IMF and World Bank in creating economic crises, and thus, political-social-ethnic instability, which invariably has led to all out ethnic war, genocides and international interventions [in countries such as Yugoslavia and Rwanda]".
Marshall notes that in 2008, “Pakistan was again seeking IMF help. On Nov. 25, it won final approval on a $7.6 billion loan package after foreign reserves shrank 74 percent to $3.5 billion in the 12 months ended on Nov. 8.” This loan was approved a day before the Mumbai attacks began. On December 4, it was reported that,
“Tough conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) have now started surfacing as IMF and the Government of Pakistan (GoP) agreed to discontinue oil import support, eliminate power subsidies and budgetary support of the government, public and private entities. IMF and GoP (government of Pakistan) have agreed to phase out the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBPs) provision of foreign exchange for oil imports. … Further steps will be taken during the remainder of the fiscal year to strengthen tax enforcement. Moreover, fuel prices will continue to be adjusted to pass through changes in international prices … The program envisages a significant tightening of monetary policy.”
Winners and Losers
A similar plan was discussed by Lt. Col Ralph Peters, in a 2006 article of Armed Forces Journal. Peters argues that redrawing the map of Middle East is a must in order to control the strategic locations and assets of Middle East and Central Asia:
“Saudi Arabia would suffer as great a dismantling as Pakistan … Iran, a state with madcap boundaries, would lose a great deal of territory to Unified Azerbaijan, Free Kurdistan, the Arab Shia State and Free Baluchistan, but would gain the provinces around Herat in today’s Afghanistan … Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier tribes would be reunited with their Afghan brethren [and] “would also lose its Baluch territory to Free Baluchistan. The remaining ‘natural’ Pakistan would lie entirely east of the Indus, except for a westward spur near Karachi.”
Peters even made up a helpful little list of “losers” and “winners” in this new great game: as in, who gains territory, and who loses territory. Among the losers are Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the West Bank and Pakistan. And Peters made the startling statement that redrawing borders is often only achieved through war and violence, and that “one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works.”