Washington’s paranoia and Pakistan


Modern real politik dictates that economic/financial interests lay the foundations of political alliances, hence the rush to safeguard and nurture trade alliances even as the great recession assumes a distinctly political outlook. There are deep disagreements and suspicions within the European Union, yet these strains are actually strengthening official resolve in Paris, Berlin, Rome, etc, to keep the euro from unraveling, realising well how betraying political differences at this point will impact the single currency’s life expectancy. China and America have long been at loggerheads over the former’s currency manipulation bloating the latter’s trade deficit, yet Beijing and Washington wisely remain shy of flirting with outright political pullback.
In this light, it is unfair for Washington to pressure Islamabad to abandon the pipeline project with Iran, crucial for Pakistan’s future energy needs. Information revealed to Profit, that Washington’s paranoia is demanding undue concessions from Pakistan, confirms fears that the pipeline deal is set to face many more pitfalls, that is, if there is resolve in Islamabad to pursue till completion.
The government should make its position clear. Already we lag behind the Iranians, who have constructed a large portion of the pipeline, and will begin charging for the gas after 2014 even if our infrastructure does not allow use of the commodity. The TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) alternative, suggested by Washington, is a non-starter. The very idea exposes serious lack of understanding of our geo-political compulsions, and should be objected to as an affront to our energy-compromised position.
Also, for economic as well as political concerns, Pakistan must refrain from hopping onto the anti-Iran bandwagon. Tehran must not be considered guilty till proved innocent, and it is well within its rights to generate nuclear energy. Furthermore, any increase in tensions that can lead to Iran blocking the Straits of Hormuz will have serious oil-implications for our economy. We must weigh all factors carefully. Caving in to Washington on this point, foregoing pressing concerns and wasting billions of dollars, is not in our national interest.