The Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline deal signed between the National Iranian Oil Company and the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources Pakistan is a great step forward by both countries towards enhancing mutual relations. According to reports, the imported gas would be dedicated entirely to the power sector, which consumes nearly 20% of Pakistan's current gas production at present. This would enable Pakistan to partially overcome its power shortage. With this deal, there seems a visible shift in the otherwise rigid Iranian policies. There is, however, the matter of increased western interference on Pakistani border with Iran which is a cause of great concern to both countries but Pakistan in particular. What is the purpose of this sudden surge of numbers of US nationals coming to Balochistan? What is their mission? With the Pakistani soldiers embroiled in fighting an insurgency, why do we need US forces here? Any unusual activity on the volatile Balochistan border may well aim to undermine Iran through Pakistan. That means our renewed relations with Iran may be seriously jeopardized and Pakistan's already tattered image in the world suffer a further set back that might be irrevocable. -OMAR KHAN, Taxila, June 17