Eye on Pakistan

Jundullah, Iran, and the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Political Economy by onpakistan on June 1, 2009

Following the bombing in Zahedan, the Iranians have protested against the Pakistani government’s sheltering of Jundullah. According to Dawn, “Islamabad has ordered the group be disbanded and wiped out.” But the question is (as it often is): will the Americans allow this to happen? I think not. Instead, Islamabad may continue to blame a “a third player aiding and abetting the anti-Iran activities of Jundullah with a view to damage [sic] the Pak-Iran ties”. Ironically, this rhetoric may not be too off the mark: the “third player” being not Islamabad’s bette noir India, but in actual fact the United States. The Iranians have raised the spectre of Jundullah disprution to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. I don’t know how realistic a threat this is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Americans offer compensation for potential damage, in return for Pakistan not taking its focus off the NWFP militants. The Americans, ofcourse, would like to see this pipeline¬†fail (and they may well succeed, not withstanding their current softened opposition) – though they’re not the only ones. As always, powerful industrial interests in Pakistan oppose the project too.

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