May 12, 2009 (the date of publication in Russian)

Maxim Kalashnikov


The nearest perspective for Pakistan is the country's dismantlement with the help of NATO forces

Tensions in Pakistan are growing. The operation, which was started by Pakistani army against talibans to the north-east from Islamabad, has already brought mass streams of refugees as the result. And hardly will it put an end to extremism. Most likely, the movement will only become stronger, threatening Pakistan with collapse.

Thousands of people run away from the Swat valley. Pakistani governmental air force and artillery smash Taliban positions in Mingora, the main city of the region. But the USA and the UK aren't satisfied: humanitarian catastrophe is already discussed there.

Yousaf Raza Gillani, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, says the army fights for the sake of the country's survival. 15 thousand soldiers from regular army and Frontier corps are involved in fights. And there are maximum five thousand talibans to withstand them. But Americans are angry: heavy armament is used and many civil local peasants die in the populous valley. During the last years Pakistan had been preparing exclusively to the war with India, but not with extra mobile Taliban's irregular forces. So now all these volley fire systems (multiple rocket launchers), tanks and jet fighter-bombers dig the Swat valley over. Local inhabitants run away from the region of hostilities, and what is more, the expected number of refugees might exceed half a million. Refugee camps are already suffering from severe unsanitary conditions and the lack of fresh water.

Asif Ali Zardari, the President of Pakistan, is doing everything possible and impossible to prove the USA that he is the head of quite capable state, which is ready to fight against the threat of Islamic extremism shoulder to shoulder with the USA. But in reality he is only stirring up the fire of real civil intertribal war in Pakistan.

Talibans use the situation skillfully, creating their reinforced posts and trenches in the most populous places. The more local inhabitants die, the better for talibans. The more will the number of refugees and spite among people grow – the more young men will join militants. The very refugees will destabilize the situation in the country and will finally undermine its economy – and that way they will inflame the fire of Islamic-revolutionary moods.

Will military efforts help Islamabad? Hardly can I give a positive answer to the question. All the sane observers say the real reason of Taliban strengthening and the spreading of Islamic-revolutionary moods in Pakistan is hidden in the existing social-economic system. Typical Asian capitalism governs there, richly interspersed with neoliberal "Friedman-like" course. Pakistan is diving in corruption and justice "for money"; the government can't provide citizens with tolerable living conditions, good education and medicine, well-paid jobs. Textile production, which is the basis of Pakistani economy, is tortured by the crisis. Property stratification of society is developing. Basically, this can not be changed with any military regime, as the system will stay the same. That's why there is nothing surprising in youth joining militants.

Pakistan has reached its turning point. In the past reducing social tensions associated with its extra passionate super activists was realized by sending youth to fight against Russians in Afghanistan. But of course it's impossible since the US troops took place of their Soviet colleagues. The USA is a sponsor; it gives a billion dollars per year to Islamabad since 2001 for the upkeep of the state's army. So the energy of dissatisfaction is now turned upon the Pakistani supreme power: talibans have created their "independent states" near Islamabad.

So what should we prepare for? For the USA and NATO beginning fast and cruel operation of destroying Pakistani nuclear industry and getting nuclear weapons out of the country. Actually, Obama has already promised something like that a year ago, when he was only a presidential candidate.

The enriched uranium plant in Rawalpindi, uranium enrichment facilities in Golra Sharif and Sihal might turn to be in the list of possible aims. Both infantry and bombing will be needed to dismantle it all thoroughly. And all this – contrary to Pakistani ruling elite, which supposes nuclear weapon is the guarantor of independence, importance, safety from expansionist claims from India for the country.

What will be the result of the US operation? The most possible option is the collapse of Pakistan. And after this a chaotic Afpak consumed by war will appear – I mean Afghan-Pakistani territories. The US troops will have to leave the area, as economic crisis is absorbing the USA more and more. Burning Afpak will separate China and India from Central Asian oil and gas sources, as it would be impossible to build a pipeline in the region. And more, chaos from the Afpak will get a tendency of spreading over ex-Soviet Turkestan (another source of hydrocarbons).

Indian or Chinese occupation of the country in the situation is hardly possible: the territory is too huge and it will take too much money to keep it under control. That's why, being "hungry" for energy, China might have an eye on Siberian oil and gas sources. China will simply have no choice: Central Asia will be "cut off" and the sea supply from Darfur and Latin America can be stopped anytime.

In that case the West might offer us to place its military bases on our territory, demanding to give the right on exploitation of Eastern Siberia and the Far East natural resources to some international consortium in return.

Neither of these options is good for Russians. That's why the Russian Federation has to strengthen the economy and defense in its eastern parts. Russia risks loosing its "far lands" during global Mega-crisis if no urban conglomeration, the financial activity of which could be comparable with Moscow, is created in the Far East and no economic or industrial growth is achieved.

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