Although President Asif Zardari seems to have mentioned the need to move forward on the Iranian gas pipeline project among the several other much-needed fields of cooperation between Islamabad and Tehran that he wanted to develop, one would hope that he was, indeed, serious about implementing it. He expressed the view after he had held a meeting on Friday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Tehran where he had gone to attend the global summit on combating terrorism. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is also attending. India has, to all intents and purposes, opted out of the project, making it rather easier for the two countries to sort out the remaining irritants in its execution. With the power shortage crippling life in all its manifestations in the country, our ruling leadership should at least now have the sense to realise the importance of going ahead with the IPI project more appropriately IP project, as New Delhi is no longer willing to join in to bridge the supply-and-demand gap in energy. There should be no hesitation in putting it on the top of Pakistans list of development programmes, and the project must be quickly made ready for implementation. The weight of American pressure to abandon the idea of getting the natural gas from Iran could now be thrown aside without caring for Washingtons annoyance. That is notwithstanding Mr Zardaris insistence that certain recent incidents and widely different perceptions on vital issues involved in the war on terror would not spoil Pak-US ties. The US, in actual fact, is leaving little doubt about its intention to worsen them. For it, our perceived double-faced attitude to the war is enough of an excuse for turning away from us, leaving us again, this time, with the problem of terrorism that has been nourished into a veritable monster by its own war on terror. In any case, for Pakistan, the value of the IP project cannot be over-emphasised. It will not only meet our present-day requirements of electricity and the projected demand for quite a while to come, but also make it possible for the government to markedly reduce the frighteningly high power tariff. Balochistan has already set an example by signing an agreement with Iran under which it would receive 100MW of power at just six cents a unit. Mr Zardari also talked about some important questions of developing Pak-Iran relations like raising the level of trade from the current $ one billion to $4 billion and developing the Pakistan-Iran-Turkey rail transport system to enhance regional connectivity and trade. At a meeting between the Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan Presidents, it was also agreed to 'enhance and strengthen trilateral cooperation for peace, stability and development of the region. To achieve that the three heads of state felt that terrorism was a big hurdle. They resolved to find indigenous solutions to regional issues. One can only hope that they stick to the resolve and the summit they are attending endorses the idea.