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Special Reports

Roadmap to dismemberment: US entrapment, plus covert and friendly invasion of Pakistan

Perwez Shafi

Pakistan’s relations with the US can be compared to a boy befriending a baby python. They played with each other and enjoyed scaring other villagers. Over the years, while still playing with the boy curling all around him, the snake grew bigger and stronger, as pythons do, with his curls and squeezes becoming tighter. The boy realized the danger and started to maintain a certain distance but the python would still manage to curl around him. One day the python curled around him and squeezed him so tight that his bones were crushed and he was choked to death.

Today we have a number of foolish men ruling the Muslim world that are playing with the imperialist, capitalist python and believe no harm would come to them, their country or their people. Like the simple villager, they fail to understand the nature of the snake. They keep playing while the python entraps them, each squeeze becoming harder, reaching a choking point. Their wrong thinking has been repeatedly exposed but no one learns a lesson — from Slobodan Milosovic of Yugoslavia, who was used by the US to dismember the country, all the way to the tinpot dictators in the Muslim East today.

How was Saddam Husain of Iraq trapped during the 1980s and 90s, first to attack Iran and then Kuwait? Before the final choke in 2003, no matter what he did to fulfill imperial demands — whether issued through the UN Security Council, the IAEA, NATO or the Arab League — and regardless of the humiliating conditions he accepted, his fate and that of Iraq and its people was sealed.

Pakistan an odd player in the US geopolitical game Currently Pakistan is also fully entrapped by the US in a friendly manner and is fast reaching the point where Saddam was before his final choke in 2003. The latest saga in this series of entrapments is the invasion by US Navy SEALs of Abbottabad, killing the real or fake Osama bin Laden, leaving the entire civilian and military leadership caught sleeping. The huge gulf created between the army and the people after the massacre of Muslim men, women and children in Lal Masjid in Islamabad in July 2007 was barely filled by the current military leadership when the CIA/Raymond Davis affair and attack on Abbottabad re-opened that gulf again. Pakistan was either too incompetent to detect Osama and to stop the US attack, or complicit in hiding him. Both options draw it further into US clutches.

The US is choking Pakistan because it does not fit into its geopolitical game plan. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the US divided the world into “zones of influence” and Pakistan opted for the US zone while India became closer to the Soviet Union. As a US client-state, Pakistan’s India-centered approach was tolerated. But with the demise of the Soviet Union, the Cold War ended. The US adjusted its worldview and its thinking, interests and goals. The US neocons/Zionists wanted to control all energy sources, especially oil, in the two critical regions of the Muslim East and Central Asia and all access routes through which supply lines pass. The US occupied these regions using the controlled demolition of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre.

The Cold War left both superpowers exhausted, in decline and virtually bankrupt. The Soviet Union adjusted with a shock therapy by unburdening its empire’s occupational load at its peripheries, keeping the Russian core intact. The US, on the other hand, chose the example of British Empire’s decline by attacking and occupying critical countries and resource-rich regions to arrest its decline. Thus there is a race against time: the US wanted to control and occupy Muslim regions to exclusively claim ownership of oil and gas fields before its decline made it too week to do so.

Gradual realization of its decline has led the US to check the ascending power of China. One way is to prop up India against China by making it a regional policeman. But India is too consumed by its rivalry with Pakistan. The latter’s large and professional army equipped with nuclear weapons has greatly disturbed India and it is unable to fully assume the role of a regional policeman. In addition, Pakistan’s support of the Taliban in proposed negotiations over Afghanistan’s future has also irked Washington. Thus, in the changed scenario of the 21st century, Pakistan has little importance in the US worldview. The Americans have, therefore, decided to denuclearize and then dismember or destroy Pakistan.

Islamabad has failed to adjust its strategic thinking and worldview in the post-Cold War era and not fully understood the diverging interests of US geo-politics. For their own destruction, the ruling military and civilian elite are completely on board on all modalities, if not the end result, proposed by the US against their own people. This is done through a series of secret agreements with the CIA in exchange for cash handouts. Each additional entrapment is presented as enhancing Pakistan’s security but in reality creates further chaos, division and civil war conditions.

Strategic blunders after 9/11

To follow that roadmap, a number of terrorism-related situations, like 9/11, were created by the US that forced the Pakistani elite to take fateful decisions desired by the US. No Afghan or Pakistani was named in the controlled demolitions of the twin towers but the US, as per the Zionist plan, wanted to invade Afghanistan and the key was Pakistan because of supply routes and intelligence. Pakistan was faced with a situation of “you are either with us or with them” and would be “bombed back to stone age” if the wrong choice was made.

General Pervez Musharraf and his cohorts could not withstand the pressure and threats, and quickly surrendered to the US. This was the first major strategic blunder of the Pakistani generals that allowed the US to enter Afghanistan with Pakistan’s support. Any other option would have entailed some costs but the strategic and most favoured solution out of this quagmire, in the view of the capitulationist generals, was the one that entailed the least cost. A slave is hardwired to please his master whenever he gets angry; any other option is a non-starter. For instance, the option of staying neutral or to gain more time for decision-making through diplomacy or consulting friends was neither explored nor given. Additional incentive of extra millions of dollars of aid for personal consumption further blinded the generals and dulled their ability to make rational analyses of national security interests. Once the US entered Afghanistan, it was there for the long haul in line with its geo-political interests, not just for a short time to oust the Taliban.

In fact, the Pakistani generals continue to worry even now and do not want the US to leave Afghanistan on the pretext that chaos and turmoil would ensue due to a power vacuum like the one that occurred after the Soviet withdrawal and collapse of its client communist regime (in Afghanistan), leading to civil war. The real reason was that they did not want the US to leave because that would end lucrative funding and aid and reduce their importance on the global stage.

CIA infrastructure in the tribal areas: 2001–2007

Once the US was in Afghanistan and its supply routes secured through Pakistan, the CIA insisted on controlling the entire Pakistani Tribal Areas adjacent to Afghanistan, ousting Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence (ISI), to deal directly with the tribes. General Musharraf made another fatal blunder by accepting all these demands which further trapped Pakistan into a weaker position.

In 2003, the CIA asked General Musharraf to cleanse all Pakistani security agencies of officers sympathetic to the Taliban. That forced many Islamic-oriented officers into retirement leaving the majority, who were secular. This further weakened the Pakistani state whose influence in Afghanistan almost ended; it also started to wane in its own tribal areas and offices.

The CIA kept pressing; it entrenched itself in Pakistan by controlling three or four major air bases in the province of Sindh and Baluchistan from where they today send warplanes on bombing missions into Afghanistan and conduct intelligence against the Taliban within Pakistan. The CIA also stationed pilotless drones in these bases but their attacks had to wait until the proper time.

Formation of the American Taliban: 2003–2007

Once the CIA had destroyed the political structures of the tribal areas, they started building their own local force without the permission or knowledge of the Pakistani government or the ISI. The latter did not care much either as long as the dollars kept flowing. If the dismemberment of Pakistan is the goal, then bringing the war from Afghanistan into Pakistan is necessary. This force would do the actual fighting against the Pakistan army and spread chaos and turmoil while the CIA, Mossad and RAW (the Indian secret security agency) along with local sectarian groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba, popularly known as Punjabi Taliban, would spread terror in Pakistani cities. This disgruntled local force was organized, funded and armed with latest weapons by the CIA in association with people of critical areas who were already disgruntled with the Pakistani State. This emerged later as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Playing upon the discontent of the people of Swat who were demanding Shari‘ah laws and its justice system for decades, the US funded, trained, and armed the militant Swati people mostly belonging to Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi (TSNM) who were inspired by Taliban rule in Afghanistan. The CIA used caves on the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan to store large caches of weapons that would enable these groups to fight for months. Moreover these caves opened on the Afghanistan side of the border providing an easy escape route to retreating Swati forces and could also supply weapons and other material support. Similarly the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) in Baluchistan province, adjacent to Iran, was also funded, trained, and armed by the CIA, Mossad and RAW.

The already over-stretched Pakistani army and security agencies did not find out about these developments until it was too late as their control was already removed from these areas through agreements between the CIA and Musharraf. Now the entire CIA infrastructure was ready with motivated local men, sophisticated weapons from international security agencies, and cooperation of the Musharraf regime against its own people.

Unable to win the war in Afghanistan and blaming Pakistan for this failure, the plan is to bring the Afghan war into Pakistan. When that happens, the CIA would create a civil war-type situation in Pakistan. Although ordinary people are against such collusion with the CIA, almost all political parties — secular and religious — and their leaders are supported and funded by the CIA for this purpose while their rank and file has no idea what is going on and blindly follow the party-line. Saudi Arabia is also part of this US design and provides massive funding for madrasahs to produce as many suicide bombers as possible as confirmed by US Consulate officials in Lahore, according to WikiLeaks. In fact, low-intensity civil war conditions already exist at least in Karachi where all CIA-supported political parties are killing and fighting each other. This could intensify to a higher level and spread throughout the country at the opportune time.

Trigger event (Lal Masjid massacre) 2007 for covert and friendly invasion

Once the American forces, CIA and special operation groups are in place occupying strategic places and assets, they need a tragic event that can be used as a pretext or trigger to bring the Afghanistan war into Pakistan and launch a covert and “friendly” invasion of the country. That trigger event was the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) massacre in July 2007 in Islamabad where Pakistani commandos sought to oust hundreds of men, women and children residing inside the masjid, madrasah and hostel. Television images of “fundamentalists” with sticks in hand were beamed all over the world as a menacing force for several months for propaganda purposes. The whole world was focused on the Lal Masjid and the West was urging Musharraf to stop at nothing short of a massacre with no mercy to the “menacing terrorists” even though it was a local administrative issue which could have been easily and amicably resolved by the local administration.

The West’s purpose in provoking the Pakistani government was two fold: first the existing gulf between the army and ordinary citizens would increase to a point where people would be forced to initiate war on the state. Second, American forces and the CIA, already placed strategically within the country, would launch their own soft invasion of Pakistan. Finally after six months of drama and publicity, Musharraf bowed to Western pressure and launched his brutal action against the occupants of the Lal Masjid, perpetrating a massacre. Pakistani commandos killed hundreds of men, women and children, especially young girls at close range, using phosphorous bombs. This aroused strong emotions among ordinary people. This was precisely the US intent: to force Musharraf to attack his people while using the sympathy aroused for these victims to finance, train and fight against the Pakistani state.

TTP and CIA terrorism unleashed

The Lal Masjid massacre provided a perfect excuse to the already discontented people of Swat and adjoining areas as well as the people of South Waziristan. As revenge for Lal Masjid, they launched their operations and evicted Pakistani state officials from Swat. They created a self-styled Taliban-type government. Pitched battles were fought against the army and while they were ultimately defeated, the area could not be completely pacified.

The Taliban from South Waziristan launched their own suicide bombings targeting every major installation of security agencies and the police all over the country. The suicide bombing squads included young teenagers from Central Asia and Swat. They wreaked havoc in the country.

The CIA achieved its objectives. Simultaneously, it launched its own secret, soft and friendly invasion of Pakistan in the garb of fighting terrorism. People who hated the army were pleased to see the Taliban victorious, forcing military personnel to stop going out in public in uniform. The other objective of bringing the war to Pakistan was also achieved. Since the US could not win the war in Afghanistan it needed the pretext of “safe havens” in the tribal areas of Pakistan through which to bring the war into Pakistan and destabilize it.

The popular sentiment started turning against US-backed militants when the war on the Pakistani state was expanded to kill ordinary citizens in shopping centers, schools, shrines, masjids, and large gatherings everywhere. The army once again started to win back the hearts and minds of Pakistanis through its own propaganda. This internal CIA supported and financed suicide war of American Taliban has been going on since 2007 and there is no sign of its abating, thus further weakening the Pakistani state.

The CIA’s Raymond Davis Affair

On January 27, 2011, Raymond Davis of the CIA Special Operations Group was captured by the police in Lahore’s old city after he shot and killed two Pakistanis in cold blood. He was arrested and presented in a local court, which put him in jail as should de done with accused murderers. All of a sudden daily drone strikes stopped. Everyone from the lowest to the highest echelons of the US government sprang into action, including US President Barack Obama pressuring Pakistan to free the CIA agent. The trial of a CIA agent in another country, which was to be stopped at all costs, was unprecedented. The local media whipped into a frenzy and people saw an open-and-shut case and they expected nothing less than the death penalty especially in view of how unfairly Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was treated by a US court in a false case based on trumped-up evidence.

Although people had doubts about the civilian and military leadership to stand up to the Americans, the case against Raymond Davis was so strong that people expected something out of routine. But Pakistanis were shocked when they learned a secret deal had been hatched between the ISI, the Pakistani government and maybe even opposition politicians, Saudi Arabia and the US government. Money was paid to the victims’ family as compensation in return for Davis’s freedom. He was immediately whisked to the airport and out of the country. This was another major blunder discrediting the entire Westernized military and civilian leadership. Whatever goodwill the army had garnered since 2007 was washed away and gulf between the ruling elite and people widened even further.

Osama Bin Laden assassination

Barely a month and a half later, it was announced that US Navy Seals had killed Osama bin Laden. Maybe the US already knew Osama had died long ago but keeping his myth alive was important for continuation of so-called War on Terror. And now was a good time to kill the myth. It is equally plausible that the US had been monitoring Osama’s compound for more than a year, decided to plant a fake and kill him to get maximum advantage. After all, those on the run would have as their first priority at a new hiding place an escape route and plan just in case. Osama had no escape route in his home and was like a sitting duck. Why?

Anyway the episode shocked the people because they could no longer trust the military and civilian leadership that stood exposed and was caught napping. American generals and the CIA are gloating over the incident that humiliated Pakistan — the “friend” and major “non-NATO ally”. But a few million dollars would be enough to smooth their ruffled feathers.

The Pakistani leadership completely failed to detect Osama’s presence and also failed to protect the country’s sovereignty. The US propaganda machinery went into action and started accusing Pakistan of being incompetent or complicit in hiding Osama. The main purpose of the CIA was to again instill despondency among people, which will further widen the gulf between the military and people to a point where, like Iraq, people were psychologically driven to such a state that Saddam’s removal by anyone at any cost was acceptable when in fact it was their right to remove him. The other objective was to declare Pakistan a “terrorist state” for harbouring Osama.

Next two years are critical — the snake’s final crush

The covert, soft and friendly US invasion of Pakistan has been underway for almost three years. It may intensify as Obama has already reiterated in the wake of the Osama episode. To treat the US operation of launching a war in Pakistan as something else is to believe, like the foolish person with a snake around his body that suffocated him to death.

After a few more of such operations when attacks by US grounds troops would become routine a la drone attacks, this would further divide the country, lose whatever faith people had in the ability of the military to protect them or do anything about it, the US may go for the final kill of its invasion: signal to Pakistani politicians to create civil war conditions, and snatch its nuclear weapons by force. If force does not succeed, then it may pursue the ultimate UN option. The charge of being a “terrorist state” has already been made with planting and killing of Osama. The people have already turned against the state, the country’s economy is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy rescued intermittently by World Bank and IMF loans, and with civil war conditions through the help of local politicians, the case for “failed state” would not be difficult for the US to make. The Security Council may pass one or two resolutions against Pakistan asking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to collect and possess all nuclear weapons and destroy its technological and human resource capability.

Once the country is defanged of its nuclear weapons, it would be a prime candidate for dismemberment. The failed-state could be divided into independent units like Yugoslavia among the same politicians who are currently governing locally. They would blame each other for dismemberment as they are doing since the 1971 tragedy when East Pakistan was turned into Bangladesh by India. This fiasco has been created by the cowardly and Westernized elite who bow before every illegal and immoral desire of the West. So how would they not implement their country’s dismemberment when they are either offered a few millions dollars or can get power of some mini-state safely tucked under US influence like Bahrain or Kuwait. This is the CIA roadmap for dismemberment of Pakistan in which the Pakistani military and civilian leadership are willing partners. One need not conjure up conspiracy theories; past behaviour and pattern provides sufficient evidence to project it into future. But this roadmap is not inevitable.

The only solution

It is too much to expect that the same Westernized military and civilian leadership that has trapped people into this nightmare can do anything about it. In fact they are illegitimate and part of the problem. There is still a large reservoir of patriotism left in the Pakistani people from all walks of life and they certainly do not wish to live in slavery. They are thinking of taking matters into their own hands at the appropriate time. If resilience of the Iraqi, Afghan and Irani resistance to US designs is any example, then the people of Pakistan are willing to join them to resist further US invasions, occupations, intrigues and plots.

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