An Iran-based global company, the Iran Power Plant Projects Management Company (MAPNA), has made an eminently tempting offer to energy-starved Pakistan that it was ready to bridge its 7,000MW gap between demand and supply within a matter of months. And it would make it available at a 20 percent discounted rate, to boot. Head of the company’s international communications Muhammad Hussain Baqri said that Iran was at present producing 70,000MW of power and it could easily spare the required 7000MW. Mr Baqri went on to suggest that his company, operating in 18 countries, could undertake the construction of 1,000MW power plants and small 25MW power units to be located on ground as well as barges.There is no doubt that the US would not take it kindly should the incoming government take up the offer, but that should not mean it should give up on it. Rather, it should make strenuous efforts to convince Washington that the availability of enough power supply is a sine qua non to regenerating the moribund economy that has crippled life across the country. The entire nation stands hostage to this enervating crisis. A crumbling economy has a domino effect: closure of factories; loss of production; shortage of goods in the local market, rise in their prices and drop in earnings of foreign exchange; fall in value of the currency; widespread layouts, consequent hunger and rise in poverty; public discontent and street protests and what they entail in terms of destruction of property; and so on and on. Any government placed in such a precarious situation would simply grab at any opportunity that promises to turn the tide and in the shortest possible time. On top of that if the cost involved is less by 20 percent, it would be like a windfall for a cash-strapped Pakistan. It would help the country have stability and funds to face other equally acute challenges.With prospects of sufficiency of cheaper power from a friendly neighbour, it would be a grave mistake to look towards India with whom relations have more often than not been strained, to use a patently mild term. While making full use of this God-send opportunity, we also should expedite work on the Iran-Pakistan gasline project. At the same time, the exploitation of our own energy resources – hydel, gas, coal, wind and solar – should be taken up with a crusading zeal. Although large gas reserves are known to be available in the country, we have made no attempt to procure a high-powered rig that could bring them on line. Similar sad fate has befallen hydel sources. It is time to follow a policy that makes us stand on our own feet regardless of outside pressure.