Reshaping the Middle East? Posted on March 25, 2011 by By Shumaila Raja Exclusive Article With the US-led allied attack on Libya, the impression so far created in the media that the uprising across the Arab world and part of Africa was homegrown and indigenous, proves to be wrong and it is now clear that behind the overthrow of Abideen in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt, and the uprising in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, are the no other than the western powers who are poised to reshape the Middle East under the much talked-about Greater Middle East plan that, ironically enough, includes Pakistan as well. Whatever the resentment Col Qaddafi and other autocratic monarchs elsewhere across the Arab world are facing at home and amongst the international community should not be considered as an immediate reason because the same dictatorial regimes had been surviving for decades in the past with the active support and backing from Washington and other colonialist countries in order to further their agendas in their own carved scheme of things. What has all at once gone wrong with the regimes already serving as the superpowers stooge and what are the people, comparatively prosperous with major economic woos, aspiring to regime change and what caused them the immediate reason that boiled into massive movement? That the Facebook, Twitter, internet and blog chats spread the awareness at a large scale amongst the Arab youth, the fact remains that the kings had already been serving the American cause, even going beyond their limits. As the reports tell, the uprising is not a Muslim revolt but the Christians and other communities also joined hand in hand with the majority Muslims. Had this been an indigenous homegrown movement, then it should have been restricted to regime change for the economic, unemployment and other grievances, but what has gone wrong with Bahrain, Lebanon and Yemen that the same tide has turned into ethnic and religious extremist movement? Now the propaganda that the Pakistanis working in Bahrain are actually the mercenaries working to defend the kingships seems part of campaign to undermine the overseas workers contribution towards the nation building as they while seeking jobs in the Gulf countries had nothing in mind that they would be serving to prolong the rule of the kings. Rather the propaganda mongers are fanning the strife on ethnic and religious divides; those torturing to death mostly the Punjabi speaking Bahrain polices Pakistani personnel or torching their houses are said to be the Iran-backed Shiites who seek to overthrow the monarchy and bring in the democracy. The notion that the Saudi government rushed its troops and armory to Bahrain in order to salvage the Sunni regime there has justified for Iran and those who want the regime changed to rush their all kind of support even in men and material to resist the government forces and Pakistani mercenaries. According to a leading newspaper, fears have been expressed that the Bahrain spillover can spread to Pakistan, the scenario that seems to be creating in the coming days will be the battle lines drawn between the Shia and non-Shia citizens across Pakistan with the same cash-n-kind support from Saudi Arabia and Iran respectively for the extremist groups. Iran has already warned that Bahrain had made a strategic mistake in asking Gulf troops to help quell the pro-democracy protests as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the US for the move. Such actions will increase tensions and undermine regional stability and security, and if such inconsiderate and illegal actions become routine, the region will become a hotbed of hostility and conflict. It means the predictions foretold by some American and European think-tanks, World Bank and the United States officials that the tide of Arab uprising can reach Pakistan, particularly its flood-affected areas, will prove to be true as the World Bank report has pointed towards over 70% Pakistanis consuming the monthly income on food provision and the United Nations report sees the poverty and food prices going out of proportions in Pakistan. Whereas the leadership in the country, the intellectuals and analysts have been arguing that the Arab countries like uprising cannot start in Pakistan because the nature of events, economic woos amidst the war against terror have altogether a different environment, though the people are the most hard-pressed no doubt. But this is noteworthy as to why the Western propagandists are giving such statements, surveys and poll reports. Is it by design? Is it aimed at creating despondency and creating a mindset to get prepared for a disaster of such a magnitude where civil war would start? Despite thousands of Pakistanis have died in the ongoing war against terrorism, the country is at war since 2001 and there is no single day left without violence, suicide bombings, terrorist-hits and drone strikes. Yet there had never been a question of civil war like situation raised. Why now, that too on the name of religious extremism, over the ethnic issues between the Shiites and Sunni communities? It is also noteworthy that both Sunni and Shia communities are living in great harmony and peace in Pakistan and unless there is involved backing from outside the country for the enemies vested interests, there had not been a single incident of sectarian nature. This all is either a hoax or a well planned design to push Pakistan into a civil war like situation. Now turning to Libya, it is true that the rulers here too, like the Arab worlds repressive regimes, have already taken the country to the brink of civil war, and in Imran Khans words, or Altaf Hussains wishes, a revolution is the only way forward but the question is whether the people of Pakistan want the regime change or the takeover of military, like the one in Egypt, that would allegedly continue to serving the American agenda. The fact however remains that from Algeria to Syria, the Arab world is on the boil, the revolts being an expression of anger against decades of political suppression, if not of economic deprivation, as the unrest in oil-rich Libya and Bahrain shows. Bashar al-Assads rule may be 11 years old, but the Assad family has been in power now for four decades, and the current uprising is indicative of the Syrian peoples legitimate desire for change, freedom and an open society. As the editorial of an English daily puts it, Mr Assad, like Saleh, too must see the writing on the wall. On the other hand the US President Barack Obama has ruled out any changes in the operation Odyssey Dawn for Libya till its ruler Muammar al-Qaddafi was in power or changed his approach towards his own people. He said the US would continue to support the efforts to protect the Libyan people, but will not be in the lead. He argued that it was in Americas interest to act against authoritarians like Qaddafi who train their guns against their own people. As Ilhan Niaz comments, there can be no doubt that the Libyan people deserve better than Qaddafi and his henchmen. After 41 years in power, Qaddafi should have stepped aside and managed a transition to rule by his son rather than clinging on to power. But equally there should be a realization on part of the western powers that further military interventions in the Muslim world will alienate Muslim opinion, spread chaos and instability and facilitate the radical Islamists the West believes to be it real enemies. Such interventions are also not in the western interest. This is something that the western public seems to appreciate much more than its leadership. Bombing Libya to democratize it is absurd. Libyas markets were being opened up to the west anyway, while Libyas share of global oil reserves is insufficient to justify military intervention, while even if that share was greater the costs of the Iraq war should have imposed greater caution.