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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1799

Bomb Attacks on Benazir in a Perspective

By Adnan Gill

Since the October 19 bomb attacks allegedly on Benazir Bhutto’s life, almost everyone is asking the same question; Who was behind the attacks? Instead, if we were to ask who is benefiting the most from these attacks, the answer may explain the original question too. And if we were to look at the broader picture, even the latter question becomes rhetorical, once we try to understand WHY she was attacked? A short answer could be Ms. Bhutto and Pakistan are only small pieces of the New World-Order in which, due to its strategic location, a subservient Pakistan has a linchpin role. Hence, the need for a leadership owing it's allegiance to the architects of this new order. Maybe some of us are wondering what the objectives of this World-Order are, how Pakistan fits into them, and what all of this has to do with the bomb blasts? We will return to these questions in a moment.

Neither the motives, nor the benefits from these bombings should be hard to speculate. Already Ms. Bhutto is demanding major share in the caretaker government. Virtually everybody is too sympathetic or too afraid to raise the most nascent and controversial questions like how she could join hands with the military junta, vis-a-vis the infamous ‘National Reconciliation Ordinance’ (NRO)? Likewise, President Musharraf (who for the last eight years called Ms. Bhutto a criminal) conceded that he alone cannot fight the terrorists, thus he invited Ms. Bhutto to join hands to fight the extremists.

Interestingly, long before Ms. Bhutto sat a foot on the Pakistani soil, a steady parade of American officials, including Ms. Rice’s deputy, John D. Negroponte, have been sent to Pakistan seemingly with the intent to organize a welcome wagon for Ms. Bhutto. Most of us already guessed what was behind Ms. Bhutto’s vowing of American lawmakers through her editorials and indirect promises that she will oblige to any requests made to her even if it takes handing over Dr. A. Q. Khan, or allowing NATO to conduct military operations within the Pakistani borders. But it was the NRO that took the veil off the deal that took place between President Musharraf and Ms. Bhutto.

The NRO and power-sharing deals were the bombshells that not many Pakistanis was prepared to tolerate. The deals raised such a hue and cry that politicians from PPP and Musharraf's party ducked their heads and openly started to question the wisdom behind them. It would be naive rather irresponsible to think that the architects of such an unnatural (proverbial) marriage did not anticipate such a reaction, and more importantly, that they did not have a remedy to overcome such a handicap.

Even though most of the casualties were sustained by the PPP workers, but in a sick ironic twist, the fruits from the bombings are also reaped mostly by the PPP. Whether by planning or by chance, at minimum, the bombings have given the trump-card of victimization to Ms. Bhutto and her party.

As if these were the first ever attacks on the Pakistani political leadership, an outcry from the Western capitals, and unprecedented UN resolution condemning the attempt on their so-called secular Sweetheart have only confirmed the suspicions that the West, especially the United States is once again deeply involved in forcing their choice on the Pakistanis. This time the interference was so unabashedly flagrant that even an ordinary Pakistani is asking, how did we reach this point where the powers-to-be are so shamelessly forcing their Sweetheart upon us?

The interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan could also be judged by Security Council’s appeal to all countries to cooperate in bringing the perpetrators of the alleged suicide attack on Ms. Bhutto to justice. In other words, it's giving a carte blanche to foreign powers to violate the Pakistani sovereignty as deemed necessary. Not to be left behind, the Western media is doing its part by hyping the hysteria of insecure Pakistan. The Newsweek in its hysterical cover story promulgated that Pakistan is a more dangerous nation than Iraq and Afghanistan.

A deliberate hysterical image of Pakistan is being projected just the way ‘mushroom clouds’ were painted prior to the Iraqi invasion. Eerily, the common themes of the hysteria created against Pakistan and hysteria preceding the Iraqi invasion were Islamic-terrorist taking refuge in the country and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). This begs the question, are we witnessing the prelude to an invasion on Pakistan? Most probably not an invasion, as the powers-to-be are spread too thin and they have learned hard lessons from the Afghani and Iraqi occupations. More importantly, there will be no need for an invasion if a proxy-leadership keen at obeying the wishes of their benefactors could be installed in Pakistan to begin with.

Let's return to the question raised earlier, Pakistan's role in the New World-Order. A strategically located Pakistan on the crossroads of Asia is a diamond in rough for many. Soviet Union eyed it to reach the warm-waters of the Arabian Sea. China wants to place its Navy in the Pakistani Naval Ports to protect its interests in the Middle East. Energy hungry India wants to use it to expand its trade with the landlocked Central Asian States (CAS), and to tap into oil and gas resources of CAS. That's not all, to the misfortunes of Pakistanis there are even bigger players with their crosshairs set on Pakistan for their own purposes.

It would hardly be a stretch of imagination to argue Pakistan's geographical situation flanking Iran and its potential of keeping an eye on the traffic coming in and out of Persian-Gulf, makes it ideal in serving the interests of powers-to-be. By every estimate the global appetite for the oil and gas will keep on rising by approx. 2% per year till 2035-2040. Middle East is blessed with over 60% of the proven oil and gas reserves, which naturally makes it the most prized real estate in the world. Energy supplies are the Hydrogen-Bomb of the future. It will be the carrot and stick of the future. Whoever controls its supplies will be able to set its prices, and use it to reward or punish either nation. For the foreseeable future Global Trade will stay sensitive to oil prices and so will be the global stock markets.

It is not mere coincidence, or love for the Jewish community that America has promised Israel $30 billion worth of military aid in the next 10 years. Though concrete numbers are not available on how much the US intends to dole out to its Egyptian and Jordanian proxies, but we can safely assume it will be quite impressive. None of these three nations produce oil, but they play a vital role in flanking and guarding the plush oil fields of the Middle East from the West. Regardless of how volatile Iraq will remains, irrespective of whether it ever exports even a single barrel of oil, it will remain a US outpost guarding the Middle East from the north. Interestingly, the Eastern flank of the Middle East, Iran still remains untamed. Till the time that maverick Iran is tamed, it will keep on presenting itself as a toe-hole for other potential adversaries, like the Russians and Chinese.

This is where the worth of proxy-Pakistan becomes obvious. Subservient Afghanistan and Pakistan are imperative to cover the right flank of the Middle East. It will also ideally serve to politically destabilize Iran by conducting surgical strikes on Iranian interests, toppling its current government, installing a pro-American government; resulting in 70% of planet’s proven and deliverable oil/energy-supplies being be in the hands of the US and its close allies. As a fringe benefit, a strategically placed proxy-Pakistan will play an instrumental role in strategically encircling and containing China. Her shortcut to the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf would be curtailed. Russians will be kept at bay by further isolating their access to the warm waters and the Middle East through a friendly Iran. New pipelines from the landlocked CAS will crisscross the Iranian landscape. There will be no longer a need to pamper Turkey for its role of transit of oil pipelines. Russia will no longer be able to destabilize the oil prices, because it (currently) controls the largest oil pipelines from the CAS.

The puppet Afghani President Karzai, who is too afraid to even step outside his palace, more than suffices as an American proxy. Now all the US has to do is place such loyal and obedient leaders in Pakistan too. And who could be better candidates than General Musharraf who is already more than happy to oblige to the US, and Benazir Bhutto who is promising to anyone and everyone in Washington willing to listen that she would do over and above what General Musharraf had been doing. What could be a better way to entrench its Pakistani puppets in shortest possible time than placing the trump-card of victimization in Ms. Bhutto’s lap? It also conveniently overcomes and/or bypasses time consuming pesky problems haunting BB, like massive corruption charges. As long as Ms. Bhutto is running strong, dozens of casualties of the PPP workers is nothing more than a collateral damage for Ms. Bhutto’s cause, and for the New World-Order.

And suddenly, the answers to questions about the objectives of New World-Order, how Pakistan fits into them, and what all of this has to do with the bomb blasts becomes crystal-clear.

Adnan Gill is a freelance columnist. His columns used to focus on issues relating to American foreign policy, Middle Eastern affairs, strategic and political issues relating to South Asia (India and Pakistan). His articles had been published in various international news and research publications including Lexington Herald, Dayton Daily, The News, Pakistan Observer, The Frontier Post, The Statesman, Pakistan Link, The Post, Nuclear Policy Research Institute, Defence Journal, and Nuclear Control Institute.

- Asian Tribune -

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