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The Atlantist media constantly reports about the situation in Pakistan. However, the confused explanations given by US and Pakistani leaders try to hide, using the pretext of the search of Al Qaeda leaders, the carrying out of important joint operations of ethnic cleansing in a region that is rich in natural gas. The military dictatorship smiles in front of the cameras.

When he was only Chief of Staff, General Pervez Musharraf promoted incidents with India that caused the war of Kargil (Kashmir). But, faced with the resistance of India’s army and the pressures of the international community, then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif considered that the best thing to do was to withdraw. Then, there was a clash between the military and civilians that was followed by the revocation of Musharraf, who was travelling abroad. The General, who had anticipated the situation, returned surreptitiously on October 12, 1999, and managed to recover power with no bloodshed. Then President Clinton ordered the coup d’état discreetly, in the name of democracy, but General Anthony C. Zinni, commander in chief of the Central Command, openly backed coup d’état leaders. Everyone turned a blind eye. For several months, General Musharraf was isolated from the international community until August 2001, when negotiations about the construction of a pipeline that should connect the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean broke off between the United States and the pseudo emirate of the Talibans [See L’Effroyable imposture, by Thierry Meyssan, Ed. Carnot, 2002, pp. 132-138.]]. Musharraf then offered the assistance of his secret service (ISI) to overthrow the Talibans that the very ISI had previously trained and put at the helm of the supposed emirate. Then, the September 11 attacks took place, the Talibans were blamed and Pervez Musharraf was a key factor in the war on terror.

General Musharraf simultaneously holds the posts of Head of State and Chief of Staff in Pakistan, although he actually shares his duties with ambassador Ryan C. Crocker [1]. They both supervise the growing of poppy in Afghanistan and the financing, through that method, of CIA’s secret operations [2].

The dictatorship does not seem to have the necessary support of the population. It remains in power manipulating current differences between Islamic and lay people within the opposition, and thanks to the support of the United States.

Pakistan is organized according to a federal system. It is divided in four provinces: Sind, Punjab, Baluchistan and the North West Border. In addition to the controversy over Kashmir, it claims sovereignty over two other territories. The provinces of Baluchistan and North West Border include tribal zones with certain autonomy. A strong regionalist movement developed over the past years among the Baluche population. They demand the end of their exclusion from economic development and they denounce the absence of members of their ethnic group among the 72 high-ranking officials of the region. Their discontent was first expressed through a Gandhi-like satyagraha, which included non-violent actions such as the peaceful occupation of public buildings. But there was a bloody repression after they found deposits of natural gas in the region. In a second stage, the Liberation Army of Baluchistan (BLA) was created and many youths soon joined its ranks. The Pakistani army, whose solid repressive tradition is backed by the memory of the massacre committed against the Bengali youth in 1971, decided to eradicate the opposition. They were joined by US troops as the famous pipeline that should connect the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean has to cross the region of Baluchistan. Ethnic cleansing operations are presented to the international community as actions related to the war on terror. That is why the Atlantist media launch their propaganda presenting the tribal zone of Baluchistan as Al Qaeda’s rearguard, thus trying to make the international community to remain indifferent.

In 2001, US troops used military bases located on Pakistani territory to back the drug lords against the pseudo-emirate of the Talibans and to put a US citizen, Hamid Karzai, in power in Kabul. However, the United States waited until the earthquake of October 2005 to deploy its troops on Pakistani territory. Using the pretext of a slow humanitarian assistance, the US troops deployed in the region of Kashmir and in the province of North West Border. They have the support of NATO, which mobilized its Unit E-3. This NATO unit, which has three Boeings 707 turned into cargo planes and used to carry humanitarian aid, is basically comprised of 17 surveillance planes AWACS, in charge of supervising repression in Baluchistan. The operations are directed from Germany by the headquarters of the High Command of the Allied Forces in Europe (SHAPE) and from the United Sates by the Central Command.

On December 1, 2005, the US and Pakistani armies began an operation to eliminate the Sadars of the Marri, Bugtis and Mengal tribes. They based their action on the Law against criminal tribes, which is only a modern version of the Regulation of crime on the borders passed by the British Empire in the 19th century. Although combats seemed to have been fierce and bloody, there are no reliable testimonies because the Pakistani army does not hesitate to shoot against observers sent by the Pakistani Commission of Human Rights.

On December 1st, a CIA unmanned plane attacked the village of Haisori, in the northern part of the tribal zone, killing at least five people. During his trip to Kuwait on December 3rd, General Musharraf said that it was “almost certain” that the attack had killed a leader of Al Qaeda: Egyptian Abu Hamza Rabia. On January 7th, 2006, fierce clashes between the BLA and Pakistani troops took place not far from there, right on the border post of Mir Ali. A total of 24 rebels and 17 soldiers died. In an effort to rescue soldiers captured by the BLA, American troops launched an operation with airborne troops that also included bombings that left eight people dead and 19 injured. After the incident, the Pakistani government sent a strong protested to the Coalition. The spokesman of the Pakistani Foreign Affairs Ministry said that the United States rejected any responsibility and that an investigation had been opened to find out what had happened. These cynical official declarations lead us to believe that the clash in Mir Ali actually took place between the BLA and US special troops wearing Pakistani uniforms and that the Pakistani General Staff is no longer in control of the situation.

Another bombing took place on January 13th, 2006. Four Predator unmanned planes attacked on two occasions the village of Damadola, in the tribal zone, leaving 18 dead, including 11 children, and six injured. At first, Major General Shaukat Sultan, the government spokesman, was unable to explain what had happened to the press and ruled out any possibility of a US military aggression. However, it was soon revealed that the bombing was carried out by the CIA Predators. The government then resorted to a new version according to which the Coalition had received reports about the presence in the village, during the Feast of the Ram, of Al Qaeda’s second man: Al Zawahri, and that they had unsuccessfully tried to eliminate him.

In spite of the bombing of his own people by a foreign power, President Musharraf does not seem to have any intentions to expel his friend Ambassador Crocker or to appeal to the International Court in The Hague. All he has done was to issue a formal letter of disapproval. US State Secretary Condolezza Rice has neither confirmed nor denied the participation of her country in the air attack and has only affirmed that Washington fully cooperates with Islamabad in the war on terror and that they would respond to the letter.

On Sunday, January 15th, important demonstrations took place in all big Pakistani cities to protest against the foreign aggression. The opposition claims that it is not worth being a US ally if that country does not hesitate in bombing its own allies. They also denounce the upcoming visit of George Bush (father) as a UN special envoy for the assistance to the victims of the earthquake and they demand the resignation of “traitor” Musharraf. Even the party of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which backs the dictatorship, participated in the protests.

[1] Ambassador Crocker is very well known to our eastern readers. He played a key role in the operation “Peace in Galilee”, in the massacre of Sabra and Chatila and in the siege of Beirut, in 1982.

[2] “Le Pakistan exploite le pavot afghan", Voltaire, April 19, 2005.