I don't often write favourably of the United States and John Pilger is
my favourite journalist. I'll certainly be at odds with him on this
But Pakistan's declaration of war upon the U.S., transmitted to that
country by the imprisoning for 33 years of Dr Shakeel Afridi, draws
attention to the fact that Pakistan owes the U.S. many trillions of
dollars, perhaps many quadrillions, in aid obtained by false pretences
and now repayable in full.
By dipping into that credit the United States could finance the means
to force recovery, and obtain massive side benefits. I realise the
U.S. has lost heart, doesn't have the will for anything of the kind,
but let's fantasize.
Step one would be to occupy northern Pakistan, the region between
India and Afghanistan.
Step two would be to occupy the region of Kashmir that Pakistan seized
militarily and return it to the sovereignty of India.
Step three would be to occupy a wide belt stretching the entire width
of Pakistan, dividing the remaining independent portions into two
approximately equal halves.
Within the two areas that will be under occupation until the repayment
is complete, the evacuation of cities and major towns and the removal
of their inhabitants to the unoccupied regions should be pursued by
placing moderate restrictions on life in those centres, restricting
supplies and movement in and out.
The genuinely rural population should on the contrary receive benign
treatment and perhaps support.
But the towns would be the centres of resistance and cover for
guerrillas hiding among the civilian population, and would need to be
depopulated. In this case there is nothing to stop tat.
The immigration of Hindu and Christian settlers into the vacated
regions and the creation of new cities should be encouraged. One of
the terms of settlement preceding the ultimate return of the occupied
territories to Pakistan following full repayment would be full
Pakistani citizenship and rights for those settlers, together with
permanent possession of the land on which they had settled.
The latter is not a rehash of the Israeli theft of land from the
Palestinians because it is not theft, it has been paid for, and
because sovereignty would eventually revert to Pakistan. The settlers
would need to make that bargain before being given land.