With the Obama administration fast approaching a July deadline that mandates troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan, Pakistan is moving into the cross hairs as the next targeted conquest of the “war on terror,” with NATO helicopters launching an attack on a Pakistani military outpost today, triggering a firefight that injured two soldiers, as Pakistan moves closer to China in an effort to avoid geopolitical isolation.
Although NATO claimed it was responding to an unprovoked attack, Pakistan lodged a “strong protest,” stating that its soldiers were merely responding to an illegal incursion into Pakistani airspace.
“The incident is certain to weigh on relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have been pushed almost to the breaking point after the May 2 raid on Abbottabad that killed bin Laden, with Pakistan’s parliament condemning the operation as a violation of the nation’s sovereignty,” reports Reuters.
Pakistan’s political leaders as well as its citizens have been vociferous in their protests against US Predator drone strikes in the country that have killed 10 innocent people for every “militant” killed. These demonstrations reached fever pitch in the days before Obama’s announcement that Navy SEALS had killed Bin Laden at a compound in Abbottabad.
Washington was also furious about the Pakistani ISI’s role in outing CIA operative Raymond Davis, who shot dead two Pakistanis he claimed were trying to rob him in January.
The narrative behind the Osama fable was used to accuse Pakistan of hiding the whereabouts of Bin Laden, when in reality it was the US government that refused numerous clear opportunities to kill Bin Laden despite the fact that they knew his precise location over the course of several years.
As Washington increasingly tries to isolate Pakistan following the dubious Bin Laden raid, Islamabad is turning to its old ally for support – China – a partnership that is, “Looking more attractive after the U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden further strained Islamabad’s ties with Washington,” reports the Associated Press.
“The sentiment is mutual, with China now in the process of shoring up its relations with Islamabad, Afghanistan and several other Central Asia states in step with an expected diminished U.S. presence as it winds down military operations in Afghanistan.”
The NATO attack occurred just hours after Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani arrived in Beijing.
Firedoglake’s David Dayen characterizes the deepening crisis as an “undeclared war” on Pakistan, pointing out that the Obama administration is now looking to “deal its war in Afghanistan for a war in Pakistan.”
The US has accelerated talks with Taliban leaders as it prepares to exit the country, but far from coming home it looks likely that American troops will be used as cannon fodder for the next lurch of the empire into Pakistan.
Given nuclear-capable Pakistan’s warm relations with China, in addition to its hostility toward fellow member of the nuke club India, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where all this could lead. Any US conflict with Pakistan could potentially escalate and lead to a major confrontation with China, a scenario that could move the hands of the doomsday clock a few minutes closer to midnight.
Former Pakistani ISI chief Hamid Gul joned the Alex Jones Show today to discuss how the situation could potentially lead to another world war if not brought under control.
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