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Posts Tagged US-India Axis to Destabilize Pakistan

Indo-US evil designs by Brig (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Indo-US evil designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

 

 

 

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The US being an imperialist power is governed by a strong hegemonic impulse. It wants to convert the world into its global village and to maintain its uni-polarism for next 100 years. 9/11 was projected as a holocaust to justify brutal war against Muslim States and steal its resources. Muslim specificcrusade launched by the neo-cons was given the cover name of Global War on Terror (GWOT). It was launched by USA and its western allies to accomplish their strategic and economic objectives in South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia. All those opposing US policies were dubbed as terrorists or their abettors/sympathizers. Terrorism was not defined and all freedom movements taking place within the Muslim world were put in the category of terrorism.

It is now widely believed that Pakistan and not Afghanistan was the actual target of USA. Acquisition of weapon grade nuclear power by conventionally strong Pakistan was unacceptable to US, Israel and India. The trio in concert with UK and Germany schemed to destabilize, denuclearize, de-Islamize, Balkanize Pakistan using covert means from Afghan soil.

 

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 rived by civil war, bloodshed and inter-provincial rivalries. NIC-CIA opined that Pakistan was slated to become a “failed state” by 2015, “as it would be affected by civil war, complete Talibanisation and struggle for control of its nuclear weapons”. It stated that “in a climate of continuing domestic turmoil, the Central government’s control will in all probability be reduced to the Punjabi heartland and the economic hub of Karachi”. According to the NIC-CIA scenario, which Washington intended to carry out: “Pakistan will not recover easily from decades of political and economic mismanagement, divisive policies, lawlessness, corruption and ethnic friction”.

 

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 mismanagement” as one of the causes of political break-up and balkanization. In actual fact, the “economic mismanagement” and chaos is the outcome of IMF-World Bank prescriptions, which invariably trigger hyperinflation and precipitate indebted countries into extreme poverty.

 

Lt Col Ralph Peters writing in the June 2006 issue of The Armed Forces Journal, presented a map in which it was suggested that Pakistan should be broken up, leading to the formation of a separate country: “Greater Balochistan” or “Free Balochistan”. The latter would incorporate the Pakistani and Iranian Baloch provinces into a single political entity. The map showed Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) incorporated into Afghanistan “because of its linguistic and ethnic affinity”. This proposed fragmentation, which broadly reflected US foreign policy, would have reduced Pakistani territory to approximately 50% of its present land area. Pakistan would have lost a large part of its coastline on the Arabian Sea.

 

Although the map did not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it had been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles. The US course consisted in fomenting social, ethnic and factional divisions and political fragmentation, including the territorial breakup of Pakistan. This course of action was also dictated by US war plans in relation to both Afghanistan and Iran. Like the US, India too nurtures evil designs against Pakistan and has never reconciled to its existence. In the ongoing proxy war, Indian RAW is in the lead and is fully involved in FATA, Balochistan and in Karachi to breakup Pakistan into small Quasi States. Exactly eight years after Ralph Peters map, Dr. Amarjit Singh from India has come out with almost a similar map showing fragmented Pakistan.

 

For the accomplishment of their objectives, Pakistan was befriended and then arm-twisted to change its Afghan policy, and join the US led coalition to fight the GWOT. Pak-India friendship treaty signed in January 2004 was part of the plan to allow free hand to RAW to carry out sabotage and subversion. Pakistan was forced to induct regular troops in South Waziristan (SW) in 2002 to flush out Al-Qaeda (CIA’s creation) and its sympathizers and later asked to extend the military operation to other parts of FATA. CIA-FBI established outposts in FATA, which with the help of clandestine setup Spider Web, killed over 400 pro-Pakistan Maliks, clerics and elders to create space for TTP.

In 2004, Balochistan was heated up with the help of Baloch insurgents. Idea was to bog down as many regular troops in FATA and Balochistan, and create favorable conditions for the Indian military to operationalize its Cold Start doctrine. Induction of Blackwater in 2008 to make major urban centres turbulent and to help in setting up of CIA network was timed with establishment of NRO cleansed government. Indo-US-western-Israeli propaganda war was launched to discredit Army and ISI, create alarm about the nukes falling in wrong hands, paint Pakistan as the most dangerous and a failing State. The TTP and BLA/BRA were patronized by foreign agencies to create fear and lawlessness. All this was done to bleed Pakistan’s economy and to whisk away the nukes.

 

After creating a hot situation in Bajaur, Swat and Malakand Division and later in SW, the military was left with no choice but to conduct major operations in 2009. Success achieved by security forces was a huge setback for the schemers. Thereon, Pakistan was continuously pressured from 2010 onwards to launch another major operation in North Waziristan (NW) disregarding its security, socio-economic and political compulsions. The US remained obsessed with the notion that military success in Afghanistan hinged entirely upon elimination of safe havens of Haqqani Network in NW. Gen David Petraeus when in command of ISAF refused to launch the planned operation in Kandahar until and unless Pak Army cleared NW.

 

Operations in NW had a political price tag as well as socio-economic penalties. With 150, 000 troops tied in various parts of FATA and KP, tens of thousands of IDPs living in relief camps, economy in doldrums and extremely weak government involved in high-scale corruption and mis-governance, Indian and Afghanistan’s meddlesome role in Pakistan and the US double-game, Pakistan was not in a happy position to undertake another major operation and feed hundreds of thousands of IDPs displaced from NW and also tackle the blowback when no national intelligence policy and counter terrorism policy had been framed. Army and FC had suffered heavy casualties in Operation Rah-e-Rast and Rah-e-Nijat and the US had suspended release of close support fund.

 

The US refused to understand that there were over 50 terrorist groups married to each other and involved in anti-State activities. By that time it had been ascertained that TTP was being assisted by foreign agencies. Pro-Pakistan militant groups could be counted on fingers. Maulvi Nazir heading militants from Ahmadzai Wazir tribe in SW was pro-Pakistan and had remained tied to peace agreement since 2007 but he was killed by drone in January 2013. The only other Pakistani militant group which was apparently friendly was Hafiz Gul Bahadur led group of Othmanzai Wazirs in NW. In addition there was a faction of Haqqanis under Sirajuddin settled in NW since 1980 which was also considered as friendly since it had never involved itself in anti-Pakistan activities. However these groups were aligned with the TTP elements settled in NW in 2010 after they were pushed out from SW in end 2009.

 

While Swat to a large extent had been pacified, SW had not been made wholly safe for the IDPs to return. Civil administration was reluctant to come forward and take over its administrative and development duties from the Army. Judiciary was not playing its part to convict terrorists and was freeing them. All religious parties, PML-N, PTI, JUI-F and Jamaat-e-Islami were against operation in NW. Their main concern was drone attacks and not militancy. The government and Army were dubbed as pro-US and an operation would have been projected as US driven. India kept playing Mumbai incident to keep Pakistan on the back foot. Western border was activated in 2011 by runaway Fazlullah led militants duly patronized by Afghan military/intelligence and other foreign agencies and cross border attacks became a norm forcing the Army to deploy additional troops. LoC in Kashmir was heated up in January 2013 and again in August-September on made-up pretexts.

 

Under such circumstances, no respectable nation could be compelled to open another front and march its forces against its own people just because of American diktat. It was generally opined that Americans would soon depart from Afghanistan leaving behind up to 10,000 lonesome soldiers, but the FATA tribesmen and Afghans were here to stay. With regard to the concern of NW acting as safe haven for anti-western forces in Afghanistan, it was argued that if around half a million armed personnel and pro-US tribesmen deployed in Afghanistan couldn’t guarantee the security of ISAF forces, how could Pakistani forces ensure their security from Pakistani soil? They reminded the US that it must recognize that Taliban hostility is attributable to foreign armed presence.

 

It may be recalled that 2011 was a very heavy year for Pakistan and its security apparatus. It had to bear the impact of Raymond Davis incident, Abbottabad sneak raid, memo scandal and massacre of 24 soldiers at Salala post. Till July 2012, Pak-US relations were at their lowest ebb. Separatist movement in Balochistan patronized by foreign powers had intensified and issues of missing persons and mutilated bodies were being drummed up to malign the image of Army, FC and Agencies. Supreme Court Under former chief justice was soft towards separatists and harsh on FC. Karachi was also on fire due to high spate of target killings.

 

Refusing to take cognizance of the security constraints of Pakistan, the US kept intensifying pressure on Pakistan through drone strikes, incursions and secret operations. For the attainment of its primary objective of disabling Pakistan’s nuclear program, the schemers focused on the Army and ISI, the two institutions that stood guard over 15 nuclear sites. Own media, NGOs and pseudo intellectuals helped the detractors in their game. The US wanted Pakistan to reinforce failure with ill intention of bogging down additional Corps size force in NW to create imbalance on eastern front for the benefit of India. At the same time, the US kept bolstering the economic and military strength of India. The US went out of the way to patronize India and made all out efforts to make it the key country in Afghanistan.

 

Series of conspiratorial plans hatched by CIA-RAW led intelligence agencies against Pakistan have been foiled by the Army and ISI. Operation Zarb-e-Azb launched in NW is proving to be the last nail in the coffin of TTP and its affiliates. The dream of USA has been shattered by Afghan resistance forces and its super power status is at stake. India also suffers from self-evoked insecurity syndrome. After its scheduled withdrawal after two months, the US is keen to put India in charge of Afghanistan. In other words, a guzzler has been nominated to act responsibly and protect the sheep given under its care. India which gobbled up 565 Princely States including those wanting to join Pakistan in 1947, two-thirds Kashmir, and later on wolfing Sikkim and Goa, and then slicing the eastern limb of Pakistan in 1971, it is now greedily eying at the other half of Pakistan as well as Afghanistan to fulfill its longtime dream of Akhand Bharat.

Knowing India’s track record, it will be utterly foolish to expect a hungry wolf to behave responsibly and avoid making a sumptuous repast out of the sheep given under its protection. Resource rich Central Asian Republics too would be its easy preys. The wicked wolf probably doesn’t know that a lion lurking in the shadow is anxiously looking for an opportunity to tear it apart.

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran/defence analyst/columnist/author of five books, Director Research Measac Research Centre. asifharoonraja@gmail.com

 

 

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USA responsible for making Pakistan most dangerous country

USA responsible for making Pakistan most dangerous country

 by

Asif Haroon Raja

 

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The US leaders and media often cite Pakistan as the most dangerous country in the world. If it is true, it didn’t attain this status at its own. Outsiders are responsible for making Pakistan a nursery of terrorism, or epicenter of terrorism, as recently described by Manmohan Singh, or the most dangerous country. Ironically, the ones responsible for converting a law abiding and peaceful country into a volatile country are today in the forefront censuring it. Till the onset of Afghan Jihad in 1980, Pakistan was a moderate and nonviolent country. It did suffer from the pangs of humiliation for having lost its most populous East Pakistan and  grieved over non-resolution of Kashmir dispute pending since January 1948 UNSC resolution. Both wounds had been inflicted upon Pakistan by its arch rival India. Pakistan had to perforce go nuclear in quest for its security because of India’s hostile posturing and nuclearisation.

 

Invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet forces in December 1979 brought five million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. These refugees disturbed the peace of Frontier Province and Balochistan where bulk got permanently settled. 2.8 million Afghan refugees have still not returned to their homes and besides becoming an economic burden, have posed serious social and security hazards. Foreign agencies carrying an agenda to destabilize Pakistan have been recruiting bulk of terrorists from within them.

 

Once the US decided to back proxy war in Afghanistan, CIA commissioned thousands of Mujahideen from all over the Muslim world and with the assistance of ISI, motivated, trained and equipped them to assist Afghan Mujahideen in their fight against Soviet forces. Large number of seminaries imparting religious training to the under privileged children were tasked to impart military and motivational training as well and prepare them for Jihad. FATA and Pashtun belt of Balochistan contiguous to Afghanistan were converted into forward bases of operation from where young Jihadists were unleashed. For next nine years the youth were continuously recruited and launched to fight the holy war against evil empire. Saudi Arabia became the chief financer of Jihad. It provided heavy funds to Sunni Madrassahs only. ISI took upon itself as the chief coordinator of the entire war effort while CIA restricted its role to providing arms, funds and intelligence only.

 

The whole free world led by USA enthusiastically applauded the heroics of holy warriors and none cared about astronomical fatalities and critical injuries suffered by them. The maimed for life, widows and orphans were patted and told that it was a holy war fought for a noble cause and huge rewards awaited them in the life hereafter. The single point agenda of the US was to defeat the Soviet forces with the help of Muslim fighters. Not a single soldier of any country including Pakistan took part in the unmatched war between a super power and rag-tag, ill-clothed and ill-equipped Mujahideen.

 

None bothered about the ill-effects this long-drawn war will have upon this region in general and Pakistan in particular acting as the Frontline State. Although Pakistan was only supporting the proxy war and was not directly involved, but it remained in a state of war and it faced continuous onslaughts of KGB-RAW-KHAD nexus as well as attacks by Soviet trained Afghan pilots and soldiers in the form of air assaults, artillery barrages and missile/rockets attacks.  Throughout the nine-year war, Pakistan faced twin threat from its eastern and western borders. By virtue of occupation of Wakhan corridor by Soviet troops, USSR had become immediate neighbor of Pakistan and had hurled repeated threats to wind up training centres and stop meddling in Afghanistan or else be prepared for dire consequences. Moscow’s age-old dream of reaching warm waters of Arabian Sea through Balochistan haunted Gen Ziaul Haq, but he stoutly held his ground. Pakistan’s relentless support ultimately enabled the Mujahideen to achieve the miracle of the 20th century. They defeated the super power and pushed out Soviet forces from Afghanistan in February 1989.

 

All foreign Jihadists who had come from other countries were not accepted by their parent countries. They had no choice but to stay put and get settled in Afghanistan and in FATA since they had collectively fought the war and had developed camaraderie with the Afghans and tribesmen. The US who had enticed and displaced them and used them as cannon fodder to achieve its interests was morally bounded to resettle them. It was honor bound to help Pakistan in overcoming the after effects of the war. FATA that had acted as the major base for cross border operations deserved uplift in socio-economic and educational fields. Afghanistan required major rehabilitation and rebuilding after its devastation. Nothing of the sort happened.

 

The US coldheartedly abandoned Afghanistan, Pakistan and Jihadists and instead embraced India which had remained the camp follower of Soviet Union since 1947 and had also partnered Soviet Union in the Afghan war and had vociferously condemned US-Pakistan proxy war. This callous act opened the doors for religious fanaticism and militarism. Pakistan suffered throughout the Afghan war and continues to suffer to this day on account of the debris left behind by Soviet forces and proxy war. By the time last Soviet soldier left Afghan soil, Pakistani society had got radicalized owing to free flow of weapons and drugs from Afghanistan and onset of armed uprising in occupied Kashmir.

 

Pakistan’s efforts to tackle the fallout effects of the war got seriously hampered because of harsh sanctions imposed by USA under Pressler Amendment in October 1989 and political instability throughout the democratic era from 1988 to 1999. Besides, Iran and Saudi Arabia started fuelling sectarianism in Pakistan throughout 1990s in a big way. Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan and Majlis-e-Wahadat ul Hashmeen were funded by Iran and Sipah-e-Sahabha Pakistan, now named as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (Sunni Deobandi) were supported by Saudi Arabia, which gave rise to religious extremism and intolerance and sharpened Shia-Sunni divide. Masjids and Imambargahs as well as religious clerics were incessantly attacked by the zealots of two communities. Threat of sectarian violence that had become menacing in Punjab in 1997-1998 had to be dealt with sternly. But the Punjab Police operation had to be curtailed because of severe pressure from Human Rights activists and NGOs on charges of extra judicial killings. Resultantly, the disease remained uncured.

        

Unseating of democratically elected heavy mandate of Nawaz Sharif led government by Gen Musharraf and the latter opting to ditch Taliban regime and to fight global war on terror at the behest of USA energized anti-Americanism, religious extremism and led to creation of Mutahida Majlis Ammal (MMA), an amalgam of six religious parties, which formed governments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. MMA on the quiet nurtured extremist religious groups that were also funded by foreign powers.

 

The fact that after 9/11, the US chose Pakistan to fight the war as a Frontline State is a clear cut indication that Pakistan at that time was viewed as a responsible and valued country and not a dangerous country. However, Pakistan’s nuclear program was an eyesore for India, Israel and USA. The planners had made up their minds to intentionally create anarchic conditions in Pakistan so that its nukes could be whisked away under the plea that it was unstable and couldn’t be trusted.

 

The initial attempt towards that end was to first allow bulk of Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders and their fighters to escape to FATA from Afghanistan and soon after forcing Pakistan to induct regular troops into South Waziristan (SW) to flush them out. This move created a small rivulet allowing terrorism to seep into FATA, which kept gushing in because of RAW led and CIA backed covert war at a massive scale and turning the rivulet into a river. Likewise, another rivulet was created in Balochistan. Concerted and sustained efforts were made to destabilize FATA and Balochistan and gradually sink Pakistan in sea of terrorism. Six intelligence agencies based in Kabul kept sprinkling tons of fuel on embers of religious extremism, sectarianism, ethnicity and Jihadism.

 

The US instead of helping in resolving Kashmir dispute misguided Gen Musharraf to forget about UN resolutions and float an out of box solution and try and resolve the dispute in accordance with the wishes of India. In order to woo India, Musharraf gave it in writing that he will not allow Pakistan soil to be used for terrorism against any neighboring country including India. While making this commitment unilaterally, he committed the fatal mistake of not imposing this condition on India. To further please USA and India and make the latter agree to sign peace treaty, he bridled all Jihadi groups engaged in Kashmir freedom struggle as well as in sectarianism. He also allowed India to fence the Line of Control. These moves did please India but angered Jihadis and sectarian outfits and in reaction, they hastened to join Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and turn their guns towards Pak security forces dubbed as mercenaries of USA fighting US war for dollars.

But for phenomenal clandestine support by foreign powers to the TTP in the northwest and to the BLA, BRA and BLF in the southwest, extremism and terrorism could have got controlled after major operations launched in Malakand Division including Swat, Bajaur and SW in 2009 and minor operations in other tribal agencies. The disarrayed network of TTP was helped to get re-assembled and regrouped in North Waziristan and that of Maulana Fazlullah in Kunar and Nuristan in Afghanistan. As opposed to good work done by Pak security forces in combating and curbing terrorism in Pakistan, the US-NATO forces operating in Afghanistan along with Afghan National Army kept making one blunder after another and in the process kept sinking deeper and deeper into the quagmire. Rather than correcting their follies, they chose to make Pakistan a scapegoat and declared it responsible for their failures. Rather than doing more at their end, they asked Pakistan to do more which was already doing much more than its capacity.

 

Since the aggressors underestimated their enemy they took things too lightly. Their intentions lacked sincerity and honesty and their stated objectives were totally different to their actual unspoken objectives which were commercial in nature. Above all they had no legitimate grounds to destroy a sovereign country and uproot its people which had played no role in 9/11. As a result, rather than devotedly fighting to win the war in Afghanistan, the assailants got deeply involved in drug business and other money-making schemes. The ruling regime led by Hamid Karzai became a willing partner in such shady businesses. American security contractors, defence merchants, builders and intelligence agencies started multiplying their wealth and lost their moral and professional ethics. Other than materialistic ventures, they got more involved in money-spinning covert operations against Pakistan, Iran, China and Middle East than in fighting their adversary. Taliban and al-Qaeda combine took full advantage of their self-destructive activities and opening of the second front in Iraq. After regrouping and re-settling in southern and eastern Afghanistan, they started striking targets in all parts of the country. War in Iraq helped al-Qaeda in expanding its influence in Arabian Peninsula and turning into an international organization.

 

The US has made a big mess in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Libya and is now making another mess in Syria. It has lost the confidence of its most allied ally Pakistan by mistreating and distrusting it. Having lost on all fronts because of its tunnel vision and mercantile greed, it now wants the most dangerous country Pakistan to ignore the raw deal it gave all these years and to not only help ISAF in pulling out of Afghanistan safely but also to convince the Taliban to agree upon a negotiated political settlement. At the start of the Afghan venture, Pakistan was chosen by Washington to ensure success and in the endgame Pakistan is again being relied upon to bail it out of the mess. In the same breadth, the US is unprepared to cease drone attacks in FATA despite repeated requests that drones fuel terrorism. It is still focused on carving a lead role for India in Afghanistan. It is not prepared to stop its interference in internal affairs of Pakistan or to dissuade India from destabilizing Balochistan. Whatever socio-economic promises made are futuristic in nature and tied to conditions. US media and think tanks continue to demonize Pakistan. Its tilt towards India is too heavy and prejudicial behavior towards Pakistan conspicuous.

 

As a result of the US skewed policies with ulterior motives, Pakistan is faced with the demons of ethnicity, sectarianism, Jihadism, religious extremism and terrorism. While TTP is aligned with about 60 terrorist groups, in Balochistan there are more than two dozen terrorist groups. In Karachi, other than armed mafias, political parties have armed wings and are involved in target killings. Rangers and Police are engaged in targeted operation in Karachi and are producing productive results. 150,000 troops combating the militants in the northwest enjoy a definite edge over them. Major parts of Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary, Levies and Police are fighting the Baloch separatists and sectarian forces targeting Hazaras and have contained anti-state forces. All major cities are barricaded with road blocks and police piquets and yet terrorists manage to carryout acts of terror. The miscreants are fighting State forces with tenacity because of uninterrupted financial and weapons support from foreign agencies. Once external support dries up, their vigor will wane rapidly and sooner than later they will give up fighting.

 

With so many grave internal and external threats, most of which were invented and thrust upon Pakistan by foreign powers and duly exacerbated by meek and self-serving political leadership, Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s hands remained full. He has saddled the COAS chair for six years and during this period he had to face many a critical situations. It goes to his credit that he handled each crisis competently, astutely and honorably. During his eventful command, he tackled the challenge of terrorism, which he rightly described as the biggest threat to the security of Pakistan, boldly and produced pleasing results. Above all, he kept the morale of all ranks in the Army high and earned their respect and admiration. The list of his achievements is long and I have been highlighting those in my articles off and on. His successor has so far not been named but whosoever replaces him will find it difficult to fit into his shoes. I am sure he will breathe more freely and relax once he retires on November 29, 2013. We thank him for his laudable contributions and wish him sound health and happiness in all his future doings. Let us hope and pray that this senseless war comes to an end at the earliest, putting an end to chirping tongues deriving sadistic pleasure in describing Pakistan as the most dangerous country.

 

The writer is a retired Brig, defence analyst, columnist, historian and a researcher. asifharoonraja@gmail.com 

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Pakistan to become the new ‘major terror ground’ in just six months: Efforts to Sabotage Gwadar Port Operational Control by China by William Engdahl

 

US & India Joint Strategy to Destabilize Pakistan

William Engdahl is an award-winning geopolitical analyst and strategic risk consultant whose internationally best-selling books have been translated into thirteen foreign languages.

Published time: August 09, 2013 09:51

 

 

Developing Pakistan-China ties which can drastically change the economic map of the region are threatened by Pakistani separatism, which might suddenly transform into another ‘terror ground.’

As Washington continues sending its development assistance aid in the form of drones to bomb civilians illegally inside Pakistan’s borders, allegedly to go after Taliban fighters, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently completed a trip to Beijing where he met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, his first foreign visit after the May elections. The Pakistani Federal Cabinet subsequently approved the start of negotiations and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on developing a “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”long-term plan, and an action plan between the development ministries of the two countries.

The core of the new agreements between China and neighboring Pakistan calls for accelerated development of a 2,000-km trade infrastructure corridor linking Gwadar Port on Pakistan’s Indian Ocean coast to Kashgar, the westernmost city in China’s Xingjiang province. Pakistan has offered China a‘trade and energy corridor’ via Gwadar, linked to inland roads. The plan would import oil from the Middle East, to refineries at Gwadar and sent on to China via roads, pipelines or railway

 

A view of the Beijing-funded "megaport" of Gwadar, in southwestern Pakistan (AFP Photo)

A view of the Beijing-funded “megaport” of Gwadar, in southwestern Pakistan (AFP Photo)

 

Xinjiang is also the heart of China’s known oil resources and a transit area for major oil and gas pipelines. The development will cost billions of euros, which China reportedly has now pledged in the form of ‘soft loans’. The railway infrastructure will provide crucial links for transporting oil and gas from the Persian Gulf and minerals and food from Africa will be the heart of the newproject.http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_61094.shtm

However, in six months this area will “suddenly” become a major “terror ground” that conveniently will disrupt the rail infrastructure link. It reminds me of the German Berlin-Baghdad Rail link to the Ottoman Empire before WWI that was the major cause for Britain to ally with Czarist Russia and France in the Triple Entente that became WWI in 1914.

Asian-gulf economic powerhouse?

China’s needs for energy resources, food and minerals from the Gulf and Africa have boosted trade between the regions in the recent years. China’s trade with the UAE alone has grown 15-fold since 2000 to reach $37 billion. It is expected to reach $100 billion by 2015. Some 2,500 Chinese firms have offices in Dubai. China’s largest bank ICBC and the Bank of China also have branches in the Gulf sheikhdom where they are beginning to transact bilateral trade in Chinese renminbi rather than dollars.

The Chinese are currently upgrading some 600 kilometers of the China-Pakistan highway. The KKH was built in 1986 from Kashgar through Pakistan and the upgrade will make it suitable for heavy container traffic and linking it to Gwadar Port. China and Pakistan are also working to link Gwadar port and Xinjiang through a new Chinese-financed railway network. This will turn Gwadar Port and the KKH into a trade corridor for China and other Central Asians countries and create in Gwadar an energy, transport, and industrial hub providing direct and economical access to the Arabian Sea for both China and resource rich Central Asian states. 

Gwadar is the world’s largest deep sea port. It lies in the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan in the warm water Arabian Sea. The design and construction of the final stages of the port, which began in 2002, is being carried out in collaboration with China. It has an immense geostrategic importance at the entrance to the Persian Gulf and is a likely substitute for the Port of Dubai. In 2011 Pakistan invited China to build a Naval base at Gwadar, something the Pentagon is eyeing very closely. China has yet to respond on that.  

It will generate billions of dollars in revenue for Pakistan and likely create about two million jobs.

Pakistan and China have signed agreements to help energy starved Pakistan to utilize the hydro-electric potential offered by the area by constructing the Diamer-Bhasha and Bunji dams.

China also wants to import gas from Iran by joining the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline that will pass through Gilgit Baltistan on the Pakistan border to Xinjiang in China.

Also Pakistan and China have signed agreements to develop entirely new industrial cities in various parts of Pakistan along the route of the rail link, including at Gwadar.

Close to the Straits of Hormuz, Gwadar has the potential to become the gateway to Central Asia and China. It’s at the junction of the world’s three most important strategic and economic regions–Middle East, South Asia and Central Asian states—giving it the potential, barring new wars, to generate billions in annual transit trade. As part of a shift in policy, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have recently been eagerly pursuing trade and economic links with China. 

On January 30 this year, Pakistan turned over the management and operation of the Gwadar Port Authority to a Chinese company at the same time the Pakistan government signed  up to the Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline, tying Pakistan, Iran and China more closely, something that caused pain in Washington.

The availability of a major alterative trade route that cuts distance and time from the present long and slow 8000 km route by ship from the Persian Gulf through the Malacca Strait to the eastern seaboard of China will give both the Gulf states, as well as parts of Africa where China is very active, and Asia, huge economic benefits.  

Enter Baluchistan ‘Separatism’

Conveniently for Washington, which has no interest in fostering greater Chinese independence of energy supply, in recent months a growing militant separatist movement has erupted on the scene in Baluchistan, the Pakistan province where Gwadar is located. 

In 2006 the US Armed Forces Journal published an article by Colonel Ralph Peters titled Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look. In the piece, which appears to bear uncanny relevance to subsequent Pentagon and US State Department policy in the region, Peters calls for the  creation of aFree Baluchistan

His call was echoed by US Pakistan “expert” Selig Harrison, who reportedly enjoys strong ties to the CIA. In 2006 after Peters published his sensational article Harrison wrote in Le Monde Diplomatique and the New York Times that a Free Baluchistan movement was “simmering.” The call by Peters and Harrison for a Free Baluchistan began four years after China began building the first phase of the Gwadar Port. 

On June 15 this year, terror attacks including a suicide bombing of a bus filled with students and a gunfight in the city that left two dozen dead, hit the Baluchistan provincial capital of Quetta. 

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a militant separatist group, claimed responsibility. The BLA wasn’t acting alone. As the injured students were being rushed to hospital, they ran into an ambush by the ‘Pakistani Taliban’Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ)

The BLA has been involved in attacks on government oil fields and gas pipelines. The Pakistan government accuses India of being behind the BLA. India recently has been moving closer to the US and to Japan in a military alliance that has a distinct anti-China bent.

Further, on July 29, jihadist militants armed with rockets and heavy weapons launched a concerted assault on a major prison in Dera Ismail Khan, close to the South Waziristan tribal agency in northwestern Pakistan, along the route of the rail-highway-pipelines from Gwadar to Xinjiang, freeing an estimated 250 militants affiliated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Terror attacks in Xinjiang too

Xinjiang has recently suffered from new rioting by separatist Muslim Uyghurs. In late June in Xinjiang, home to some 10 million Uyghurs, two terror attacks killed 35 people days ahead of the fourth anniversary of the July 5, 2009 riot in the capital Urumqi that left 197 people dead.

The Jihadist Uyghur terrorists apparently are being recruited in Turkey by an Uyghur independence organization, sent to Syria for combat experience and, if they survive, sent back to Xinjiang to carry out terror deeds there.

China’s official daily, Global Times, reported in early July that a Muslim Uyghur from Xinjiang, Memeti Alili was arrested in Xinjiang during the new wave of terrorist acts and riots.

The Chinese daily reported that the 23-year-old Alili confessed to police that he had been recruited as a student in Istanbul by something called the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Aili was arrested when returning to Xinjiang to complete his mission to “carry out violent attack and improve fighting skills.”He confessed that he had been assigned to return by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). ETIM is a terrorist group that aims to create an Islamist state in Xinjiang, which works alongside the East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA), an Istanbul-based exile group. 

 

This picture taken on August 5, 2013 shows the shell of a burnt out bus being towed by a rescue vehicle along a street in Urumqi in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (AFP Photo)

This picture taken on August 5, 2013 shows the shell of a burnt out bus being towed by a rescue vehicle along a street in Urumqi in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (AFP Photo)

 

Muslim Uyghur youth are being recruited to go to Istanbul to “study”, then recruited by ETIM and ETESA to fight as Jihadists in Syria with Al Qaeda and other jihad groups, according to China’s anti-terrorism authority. If they survive the Syrian battlefield training, the Uyghur jihadists are recycled back to Xinjiang in China, the end-point of the new Gwadar to China rail and road infrastructure “land bridge.”

The headquarters of ETESA, located in Istanbul include research, media, social affairs, education and women’s affairs departments. It aims to “educate and train Muslims” in Xinjiang and “set them free” by forming a Muslim state, according to a Chinese official.  In 2004, in Washington Anwar Yusuf Turani established the East Turkistan Government in Exile. Washington seemed not to object, though many other countries did, including China.

The Istanbul link of ETIM and ETESA is no accident. Istanbul’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly backed the Uyghur separatists in 2009 during the riots, calling them fellow Turkic peoples.

Meanwhile, as if to further underscore how vulnerable any China-Pakistani energy and trade corridor from Gwadar to Xinjiang would be, on the eve of US Secretary of State Kerry’s visit to Islamabad to meet Pakistan’s Prime Minister just after the China deal of Pakistan, the US made several drone attacks inside Pakistan in the North Waziristan tribal region. They killed at least six people. It was the fourth US drone strike since Sharif was re-elected as Prime Minister in June, all in the crucial North Waziristan en route to Xinjiang. Despite Pakistan’s strong protests Washington refuses to halt the CIA-run drone attacks

With the CIA drone attacks, the Baluchistan attacks of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Baloch Liberation Army, as well as Jihadists being sent into Xinjiang from Turkey and Syria, we can expect unrest to increase in Baluchistan province and upwards to Xinjiang as the huge China-Pakistan infrastructure plans materialize in coming months.

Disclaimer

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT or PTT.

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