December 30, 2007
Centre for Research on Globalisation

The Destabilization of Pakistan

by Michel Chossudovsky

Various American destabilization plans, known for months by officials and analysts, proposed the toppling of Pakistan's military.

. . . US agenda for Pakistan is similar to that applied throughout the broader Middle East Central Asian region. US strategy, supported by covert intelligence operations, consists in triggering ethnic and religious strife, abetting and financing secessionist movements while also weakening the institutions of the central government.

The broader objective is to fracture the Nation State and redraw the borders of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pakistan's extensive oil and gas reserves, largely located in Balochistan province, as well as its pipeline corridors are considered strategic by the Anglo-American alliance, requiring the concurrent militarization of Pakistani territory.

Balochistan comprises more than 40 percent of Pakistan's land mass, possesses important reserves of oil and natural gas as well as extensive mineral resources.

The Iran-India pipeline corridor is slated to transit through Balochistan. Balochistan also possesses a deap sea port largely financed by China located at Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea, not far from the Straits of Hormuz where 30 % of the world's daily oil supply moves by ship or pipeline. (Asia, 29 December 2007)

Pakistan has an estimated 25.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves of which 19 trillion are located in Balochistan. Among foreign oil and gas contractors in Balochistan are BP, Italy's ENI, Austria's OMV, and Australia's BHP. It is worth noting that Pakistan's State oil and gas companies, including PPL which has the largest stake in the Sui oil fields of Balochistan are up for privatization under IMF-World Bank supervision.

According to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Pakistan had proven oil reserves of 300 million barrels, most of which are located in Balochistan. Other estimates place Balochistan oil reserves at an estimated six trillion barrels of oil reserves both on-shore and off-shore (Environment News Service, 27 October 2006).

Balochistan's strategic energy reserves have a bearing on the separatist agenda. Following a familiar pattern, there are indications that the Baloch insurgency is being supported and abetted by Britain and the US.

The Baloch national resistance movement dates back to the late 1940s, when Balochistan was invaded by Pakistan. In the current geopolitical context, the separatist movement is in the process of being hijacked by foreign powers. . . .


Prof. Michel Chossudovsky teaches at the University of Ottawa. He is published frequently in Le Monde Diplomatique. His latest book is the Globalization of Poverty.

Bruce Loudon, "US Looks at Plan to Oust Musharraf," Australian, March 14, 2007

Joe Conason, "Regime Change: 'Seven Countries in Five Years',", October 12, 2007

[These include: sending elite British or US troops to secure nuclear weapons capable of being transported out of the country and take them to a secret storage depot in New Mexico or a "remote redoubt" inside Pakistan; sending US troops to Pakistan's north-western border to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida; and a US military occupation of the capital Islamabad, and the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan if asked for assistance by a fractured Pakistan military, so that the US could shore up President Pervez Musharraf and General Ashfaq Kayani, who became army chief this week.--Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, "Bush handed blueprint to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal," Guardian, December 1, 2007]

Tariq Ali, "A Tragedy Born of Military Despotism and Anarchy," Guardian, December 28, 2007

Shahid Qureshi, "BENAZIR KILLED IN CAPTURING PAK NUKES," Dictatorship Watch, January 3, 2008

[Amid reports that the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is considering aggressive covert actions against armed Islamist forces in western Pakistan, a new survey released here Monday suggested that such an effort would be opposed by an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis themselves.--Jim Lobe, "Pakistanis See US As Greatest Threat," Inter Press Service, January 8, 2008]

[Pakistan has strongly criticised remarks by the head of the UN nuclear watchdog that its nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist groups. . . . Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq added that Mr ElBaradei should "be careful about his statements and ought to remain within his mandate". . . . "The statements intend to see Pakistan destabilised."--"Pakistan rejects UN nuclear fears," BBC News, January 9, 2008]

VIDEO: Imran Khan, "Pakistani Opposition Leader Imran Khan on Musharraf, Bhutto, and How the U.S. Has Undermined Pakistani Democracy,", January 30, 2008

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