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1 The Destabi l i z a t i on of Pakis tan by Prof .

Michel Chossudovsky Posted on December 31, 2007 by dandel ionsa lad Dandel ion Salad by Prof . Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, December 30, 2007 The assass inat i on of Benazi r Bhutto has created condi t i ons which contr ibute to the ongoing destabi l i z a t i on and f ragmentat ion of Pakis tan as a Nation. The process of US sponsored regime change, which normal ly consis t s in the re- format ion of a f resh proxy government under new leaders has been broken. Discred i ted in the eyes of Pakis tan i publ i c opin ion , General Pervez Musharaf cannot remain in the seat of pol i t i c a l power. But at the same t ime, fake elections supported by the the international community scheduled for January 2008, even if they were to be carried out, would not be accepted as legitimate, thereby creating a political impasse. There are indications that the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was anticipated by US off ic ia ls : It has been known for months that the Bush-Cheney administration and its allies have been maneuvering to strengthen their political control of Pakistan, paving the way for the expansion and deepening of the war on terrorism across the region. Various American destabilization plans, known for months by officials and analysts, proposed the toppling of Pakistans military The assassination of Bhutto appears to have been anticipated. There were even reports of chatter among US officials about the possible assassinations of either Pervez Musharraf or Benazir Bhutto, well before the actual attempts took place. (Anglo- American Ambitions behind the Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the Destabil izat ion of Pakistan by Larry Chin)

Political Impasse Regime change with a view to ensuring continuity under military rule is no longer the main thrust of US foreign policy. The regime of Pervez

2 Musharra f cannot prevai l . Washingtons fore ign pol i cy course is act ive l y promote the pol i t i c a l f ragmentat ion and balkan iza t i on Pakis tan as a nat ion . to of

A new pol i t i c a l leadersh ip is ant ic i pa ted but in al l l i ke l i h ood i t wil l on a very di f f e rent shape, in re la t i on to prev ious US sponsored regimes. One can expect that Washington will push for a compliant political leadership, unconcerned with the National Interests, which will serve its interests, while concurrently contributing under the disguise of decentralization to the weakening of the central government and the fracture of Pakistans fragile federal structure. The pol i t i c a l impasse is deliberate. It is part of an evolving US foreign policy agenda, which favors disruption and disarray in the structures of the Pakistani State. Indirect rule by the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus is to be replaced by more direct forms of US interference, including an expanded US military presence inside Pakistan. This expanded military presence is also dictated by the Middle EastCentral Asia geopolitical situation and Washingtons ongoing plans to extend the Middle East war to a much broader area. The US has several military bases in Pakistan. It controls the countrys air space. According to a recent report: U.S. Special Forces are expected to vastly expand their presence in Pakistan, as part of an effort to train and support indigenous counter-insurgency forces and clandestine counterterrorism units (William Arkin, Washington Post, December 2007). The official justification and pretext for an increased military presence in Pakistan is to extend the war on terrorism. Concurrently, to justify its counter-terrorism program, Washington is also beefing up its covert support to the terrorists. The Balkanization of Pakistan Already in 2005, a report by the US National Intelligence Council and the CIA forecast a Yugoslav-like fate for Pakistan in a decade with the country riven by civil war, bloodshed and inter-provincial rivalries, as seen recently in Balochistan. (Energy Compass, 2 March 2005). According to the NIC-CIA, Pakistan is slated to become a failed state by 2015, as it would be affected by civil war, complete Talibanization and struggle for control of its nuclear weapons. (Quoted by former

3 Pakis tan High Commissioner Ind ia , 13 February 2005): to UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Times of

Nascent democrat i c re forms wi l l produce l i t t l e change in the face o opposi t i on f rom an entrenched pol i t i c a l el i t e and radica l Is l amic part i es . a climate of continuing domestic turmoil, the Central In governments control probably will be reduced to the Punjabi heartland and the economic hub of Karachi, the former diplomat quoted the NIC-CIA report as saying. Expressing apprehension, Hasan asked, are our military rulers working on a similar agenda or something that has been laid out for them in the various assessment reports over the years by the National Intelligence Council in joint collaboration with CIA? Ibid) Cont inu i t y , character i zed by the dominant ro le of the Pakis tan i mil i t a ry and in te l l i g ence has been scrapped in favor of pol i t i c a l breakup and balkaniza t i on . Accord ing to the NIC- CIA scenar io , which Washington in tends to carry out: Pakistan will not recover easily from decades of political and economic mismanagement, divisive policies, lawlessness, corruption and ethnic friction, (Ibid).

The US course consis t s in fomenting soc ia l , ethnic and fac t i ona l div i s i ons and pol i t i c a l f ragmentat ion , inc lud ing the ter r i t o r i a l breaku of Pakis tan . This course of act ion is also dic ta ted by US war plans in re la t i on to both Afghanis tan and I ran . This US agenda for Pakis tan is s imi la r to that appl ied throughout the broader Middle East Centra l Asian region . US stra tegy , supported by covert in te l l i g ence operat ions , cons is t s in tr i gger ing ethnic and re l i g i ous str i f e , abett ing and f inanc ing secess ion i s t movements whi le also weakening the ins t i t u t i ons of the centra l government. The broader object i ve is to f rac ture the Nation State and redraw the borders of I raq , I ran , Syr ia , Afghanis tan and Pakis tan . Covert Support to Balochistan Separatists

Pakis tan s extens ive oi l and gas reserves , la rge ly located in Baloch is tan prov ince , as wel l as i t s pipe l i ne corr i dors are cons idered st ra teg ic by the Anglo- American al l i ance , requi r i ng the concurrent mil i t a r i z a t i on of Pakis tan i ter r i t o r y .

4 Baloch is tan comprises more than 40 percent of Pakis tan s land mass, possesses important reserves of oi l and natura l gas as wel l as extens ive minera l resources .

The I ran - Ind ia pipe l i ne corr i dor is s la ted to trans i t through Baloch is ta Baloch is tan also possesses a deap sea port la rge ly f inanced by China located at Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea, not far f rom the Stra i t of Hormuz where 30 % of the world s dai l y oi l supply moves by ship or pipe l i ne . (As ia News. i t , 29 December 2007)

Pakis tan has an est imated 25.1 tr i l l i o n cubic feet (Tc f ) of proven gas reserves of which 19 tr i l l i o n are located in Balochis tan . Among fore ign oi l and gas contrac to rs in Balochis tan are BP, I ta l y s ENI , Austr i a OMV, and Austra l i a s BHP. I t is worth not ing that Pakis tan s State oi l and gas companies , inc lud ing PPL which has the la rges t stake in the Sui oi l f i e l d s of Balochis tan are up for pr iva t i z a t i on under IMF- Worl Bank superv is i on . Accord ing to the Oi l and Gas Journa l (OGJ) , Pakis tan had proven oi l reserves of 300 mil l i on barre l s , most of which are located in Baloch is tan Other estimates place Balochistan oil reserves at an . estimated six trillion barrels of oil reserves both on-shore and off-shore (Environment News Service, 27 October 2006). The Balochi resistance movement dates back to the late 1940s, when Balochistan was invaded by Pakistan. In the current geopolitical context, the separatist movement is in the process of being hijacked by foreign powers. Balochistans strategic energy reserves have a bearing on the separatist agenda. Following a familiar pattern, there are indications that the Baloch insurgency is being supported and abetted by Britain and the US.

British intelligence is allegedly providing covert support to Balochistan separatists (which from the outset have been repressed by Pakistans military). In June 2006, Pakis tan s Senate Committee on Defence accused Br i t i s h in te l l i g ence of abett i ng the insurgency in the prov ince border ing I ran [Ba loch is tan] . . ( P r e s s Trust of Ind ia , 9 August 2006) . Ten Br i t i s h MPs were invo lved in a closed door sess ion of the Senate Committe on Defence. ( Ib id ) . It would appear that Britain and the US are supporting both sides. The US is providing American F-16 jets to Pakistan, which are being used to bomb Baloch villages in Balochistan. Meanwhile, British covert support

5 re fe r red to by Senate Committee essent ia l l y centra l government. serves to weaken the

The stated purpose of US counter- terrorism is to provide covert support as well as training to Liberation Armies ult imately with a view to destabil i z ing sovereign governments. In Kosovo, the training of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was in fact entrusted to a private mercenary company, Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI), on contract to the Pentagon. The BLA bears a canny resemblance to Kosovos KLA, which was financed by the drug trade and supported by the CIA and Germanys Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND). The BLA emerged shortly after the 1999 military coup. has no It tangible links to the Baloch resistance movement, which developed since the late 1940s. An aura of mystery surrounds the leadership of the BLA. Washington favors the creation of a Greater Balochistan which would integrate the Baloch areas of Pakistan with those of Iran and possibly the Southern tip of Afghanistan (See Map above), thereby leading to a process of political fracturing in both Iran and Pakistan. The US is using Balochi nationalism staging an insurgency for inside Irans Sistan-Balochistan province. The war on terror in Afghanistan gives a useful political backdrop for the ascendancy of Balochi militancySee Global Research, 6 March 2007). Mil i tary scholar Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters writing in the June 2006 issue of The Armed Forces Journal, suggests, in no uncertain terms that Pakistan should be broken up, leading to the formation of a separate country: Greater Balochistan or Free Balochistan (see Map below). The latter would incorporate the Pakistani and Iranian Balochi provinces into a single political entity. In turn, according to Peters, Pakistans North West Frontier Province (NWFP) should be incorporated into Afghanistan because of its linguistic and ethnic affinity. Although the i t has been College for similar maps, map does not off ic ia l ly reflect Pentagon doctrine, used in a training program at NATOs Defense senior military off icers. map, as well as other This has most probably been used at the National War

6 Academy as wel l as in mil i t a ry planning ci rc l e sMahdi D. (See . Nazemroaya, Global Research, 18 November 2006)

L ieutenant - Colonel Peters was las t posted, before he ret i r ed to the Off i ce of the Deputy Chief of Staf f for In te l l i g ence , with in the U.S Defence Department, and has been one of the Pentagons foremost authors with numerous essays on stra tegy for mil i t a ry journa ls and U.S. fore ign pol i cy . ( Ib id )

I t is worth not ing that secess ion i s t tendencies are not l im i ted to Baloch is tan . There are separat i s t groups in Sindh prov ince , which are la rge ly based on opposi t i on to the Punjab i - dominated mil i t a ry regime of General Pervez Musharra f (For Further details see Selig Harrisson, Le Monde diplomatique, October 2006) St rong Economic Government Medic ine : Weakening Pakis tan s Centra l

Pakis tan has federa l struc ture based on federa l prov inc ia l t rans fe rs . Under a federa l struc ture , the centra l government trans fe rs f inanc ia l resources to the prov inces , with a view to support ing prov inc ia l based programs. When these trans fe rs are f rozen as occurred in Yugoslav ia in January 1990, on orders of the IMF, the federa l f i s ca l st ruc tu re col l apses : State revenues that should have gone as trans fe r payments to the republ i c s [of the Yugoslav federat i on ] went ins tead to serv ice Belgrades debt . The republ i c s were la rge ly le f t to the i r own devices . The budget cuts requi r i ng the redi rec t i on of federa l revenues towards debt serv ic i ng , were conducive to the suspension of t rans fe r payments by Belgrade to the governments of the Republ i c s and Autonomous Prov inces .

In one fe l l swoop, the re formers had engineered the f ina l col l apse o Yugoslav ia s federa l f i s ca l struc ture and morta l l y wounded i t s federa l pol i t i c a l ins t i t u t i ons . By cutt i ng the f inanc ia l arter i e s between Belgra and the republ i c s , the re forms fue led secess ion i s t tendencies that fed on economic fac tors as wel l as ethnic div i s i ons , vi r tua l l y ensur ing the de facto secess ion of the republ i c s . (Miche l Chossudovsky, The Global i za t i on of Poverty and the New World Order , Second Edit i on , Global Research, Montrea l , 2003, Chapter 17.) It is by no means accidental that the 2005 National Intelligence Council- CIA report had predicted a Yugoslav-like fate for Pakistan pointing to the impacts of economic

7 mismanagement as one of the causes of polit ica l break-up and balkanization. Economic mismanagement is a term used by the Washington based international financial institutions to describe the chaos which results from not fully abiding by the IMFs Structural Adjustment Program. In actual fact, the economic mismanagement and chaos is the outcome of IMF-World Bank prescriptions, which precipitate indebted countries into extreme poverty. Pakistan was subjected to the same deadly IMF economic medicine as Yugoslavia: In 1999, in the immediate wake of the coup dEtat which brought General Pervez Musharaf to the helm of the military government, an IMF economic package, which included currency devaluation and drastic austerity measures, was imposed on Pakistan. Pakistans external debt is of the order of US$40 billion. The IMFs debt reduction under the package was conditional upon the sell-off to foreign capital of the most profitable State owned enterprises at rockbottom prices. Musharafs Finance Minister was chosen by Wall Street, which is not an unusual practice. The military rulers appointed at Wall Streets behest, a vice-president of Citigroup, Shaukat Aziz, who at the time was head of CitiGroups Global Private Banking. (See WSWS.org, 30 October 1999). CitiGroup is among the largest commercial foreign banking institutions in Pakistan. There are obvious similarities in the nature of US covert intelligence operations. The latter are often synchronized with the IMF-World Bank macro-economic reforms. In this regard, Yugoslavias federal fiscal structure collapsed in 1990 leading to mass poverty and heightened ethnic and social divisions. The US and NATO sponsored civil war launched in mid-1991 consisted in coveting Islamic groups as well as channeling covert support to separatist paramilitary armies in Bosnia and Kosovo. A similar civil war scenario has been envisaged for Pakistan by the National Intelligence Council and the CIA: From the point of view of US intelligence, which has a longstanding experience in abetting separatist liberation armies, Greater Albania is to Kosovo what Greater Balochistan is to Pakistans Southeastern Balochistan province. Similarly, the KLA is Washington chosen model, to be replicated in regards to the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA). The Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

Benazi r Bhutto was assass ina ted in Rawalpind i , no ordinary ci ty . Rawalpind i is a mil i t a ry ci ty host to the headquarters of the Pakis tan i Armed Forces and Mil i t a r y Inte l l i g ence ( IS I ) . I ron i ca l l y Bhutto was assass inated in an urban area t ight l y contro l l ed and guarded by the mil i t a ry pol i ce and the country s el i t e forces . Rawalpind i is swarming with IS I in te l l i g ence of f i c i a l s , which invar iab l y in f i l t r a t e pol i t i c a l Her assass inat i on was not a haphazard event. Without evidence, quoting Pakistan government sources, the Western media in chorus has highlighted the role of Al- Qaeda, while also focusing on the possible involvement of the ISI . What these interpretations do not mention is that the ISI continues to play a key role in overseeing Al Qaeda on behalf of US intel l igence. The press reports fai l to mention two important and well documented facts: 1) The ISI maintains close ties to the CIA. The ISI is virtual ly an appendage of the CIA. 2) Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA. The ISI provides covert support to Al Qaeda, acting on behalf of US intel l igence. The involvement of either Al Qaeda and/or the ISI would suggest that US intel l igence was cognizant and/or implicated in the assassination plot. Copyr ight Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2007 The ur l address of th is art iwww.globalresearch.ca/index.php? c l e is : context=va&aid=7705 http: / /dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2007/12/31/thedestabil izat ion- of- pakistan- by-prof- michel- chossudovsky/