MUJAHID KAMRAN According to press reports the Canadian government has requested the Government of Pakistan to allow it to use Pakistani military bases, ostensibly for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The Canadian request was filed after the UAE terminated the base facilities it had extended to the Canadian forces to carry out operations in Afghanistan. Reportedly, the termination of the Canadian base in UAE, Camp Mirage, was triggered by a Canadian refusal to allow the Emirates and Etihad airlines to increase the frequency of their flights to Canada. Does Canada want the use of base facilities for the withdrawal of forces or is this just a cover for conducting operations in Afghanistan? Or is there some additional and deeper motive? In order to evaluate the true nature of such a request, it is important to assess the actual status of Canadas sovereignty today. Professor Chossudovsky of Ottawa University writes: The world is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has launched a military adventure, which threatens the future of humanity. It has formulated the contours of an imperial project of world domination. Canada is contiguous to 'the centre of the empire. Territorial control over Canada is part of the US geopolitical and military agenda. The destruction of the Soviet Union has led to the destruction of the balance of power in the world. In the resulting unipolar world, the US leadership, which serves corporate interests, has embarked on a swift and intense programme of taking the entire globe in its iron grip. It was almost five decades ago, in 1959, that the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) was established. It had the express objective of defending North American air space against any aggressor - believed at that time to be the Soviet Union. Then, in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was sign-ed that benefited the great US corporations. Under NA-FTA, all restrictions on trade between Canada, US and Mexico were lifted, and free trade between these countries commenced. After 9/11, in 2002, the US unilaterally set up the Northern Command (NORTHCOM). It is important to bear in mind that Jean Chrtien, the Canadian Prime Minister at that time, did not agree to Canada joining NORTHCOM. As a result, a bi-national group was set up and was entrusted with the task of improving the defences of both, the US and Canada. This bi-national group is under complete US control since it works under NOR-THCOM, whereas NORTH-COM is controlled by the US Department of Defence. Shortly after setting up NORTHCOM, the US unilaterally declared that its jurisdiction extended from the Caribbean in the south to the extreme north in Canada and covered all US and Canadian air and sea space, as well as geographical territory. On 9/11, NORAD was conducting a vast military exercise in which the USAF and the Canadian air force were defending their territories against a possible Russian attack. According to Michael Ruppert, the entire 9/11 episode was secretly embedded in this exercise by the agencies and was carried out under this cover. Is the merger of Canada with the US the real purpose behind the establishment of NORT-HCOM? This question was first raised by Professor Chossu-dovsky in an article published in November 2004. All negotiations about NORTHCOM were held, not in Canada, but at a US air base in Colorado. These negotiations lasted for two years. As a result, of what was agreed in the bi-national group, Canadian sovereignty received a very serious setback. Firstly, Canadian borders will be controlled by the US forces and information about Canadian citizens will be shared with Homeland Security. Secondly, the US troops and special forces can enter Canada without permission and arrest any Canadian citizen (the reciprocal arrangement is also allowed, but everyone knows that there is no chance of the Canadian forces entering the US to arrest an American citizen). By using the label NOR-TH, the NORTHCOM, i.e., US forces, will not only be able to extend their control over entire North America, but will also be able to set up northern military bases on the Canadian soil. The superrich US elite has its eye on the vast resources of Canada, a country larger in size than the US. According to Professor Chossudovsky, Canada will cease to exist as a sovereign state as a result of these arrangements. All these bodies and agreements, NAFTA, NORTHCOM, etc., were set up on the direction of the Council on Foreign Relations. The Mexican Council on Foreign Relations and the Chief Executive Council of Canada were also involved in this process. Alongside NORTHCOM and NAFTA, a Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) was also established. The purpose behind its establishment is the promotion and protection of the vested interests of the superrich elite of the US, while at the same time transforming Mexico, US and Canada into an American fortress. In this set up, the Mexican and Canadian citizens will be reduced to the status of slaves of the US elite, which, through drastic and third world style legislation, has already shackled the people of the US. According to Stephen Lendman, under the SPP: Many secret working groups have been set up to formulate treaties that will not be subject to discussion, and once signed, even the elected representatives of the countries will not be able to change them. All this is astonishing, but in view of the extent and depth acquired by US domination in the last decades, all this is not just possible, it is happening. As Lendman puts it: Its a corporate-led coup detat aga-inst the sovereignty of three nations, enforced by a common hard line security strategy already in play separately in each country. Its a scheme to create a borderless North American Union under US control without barriers to trade and capital flows for corporate giants, mainly US ones. Its also to insure America gets free and unlimited access to Canadian and Mexican resources, mainly oil, and in the case of Canada, water as well. Its to assure US security as a top priority, while denying Canada and Mexico preferential access to their own resources, henceforth, earmarked for US markets. The writer is the vice chancellor of the University of the Punjab.