Thursday, October 22, 2009

What lies ahead for Pakistan?

See a related post here on the larger US strategic interests. On President Zardari's role in this game and Army's response, see a previous post here On bombs/terrorism and politics surrounding Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, see here

Pakistan Feels The American Raj
Eric Margolis, InformationClearingHouse, Oct 21, 2009


"The current Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill, advanced with President Barack Obama's blessing, is ham-handed dollar diplomacy at its worst. Pakistan, bankrupted by corruption, feudal landlords, and the previous Musharraf military regime, is being offered US $7.5 billion over five years - but with outrageous strings attached.

Washington denies any strings are involved. But few in South Asia believe the cash-strapped US is handing over $7.5 billion for the sake of pure altruism or concern for Pakistan's social welfare.

The US wants to build a mammoth new embassy for 1,000 personnel in Islamabad, the second largest after its Baghdad fortress-embassy. New personnel are needed, claims Washington, to monitor the $7.5 billion in aid. So US mercenaries (aka `contractors') are being brought in to protect US interests and personnel. New US bases may also be in the cards. Most of this new aid will go right into the pockets of the pro-western ruling establishment, about 1% of the population.

Washington is also reportedly demanding some form of indirect veto power over promotions in Pakistan's armed forces and intelligence agency, ISI. This crude attempt to exert more US influence over Pakistan's 617,000-man military has enraged the armed forces and set off alarm bells.

It's all part of Washington's `Afpak' strategy to clamp tighter control over restive Pakistan and make use of its armed forces and spies in Afghanistan. Seizing control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, the key to its national defense against a much more powerful India, is the other key US objective. Many Pakistanis believe the US is bent on tearing apart Pakistan in order to seize its nuclear arsenal."

No comments: