If there is any truth in a news agency report that Pakistan has decided to back out of the Iranian gas pipeline deal and, instead, import 500MW of electricity from India, it is clear that our rulers, much to the nations dismay, have no shame. It comes as a rude shock to know that the government has the gall to defy both the Parliament's and the all parties conference declarations, which clearly enjoin upon it to chalk out a course of action that rejects the concerns of foreign influences interfering in the pursuit of Pakistan's national interests. The Iranian pipeline is ideal to help overcome the agonising shortfall of power in the country, in the shortest possible period of time. It holds crucial significance in the future progress and prosperity of Pakistan since it will enable us to resuscitate our moribund industry and take advantage of our trade deals with China, Turkey and iran. Jettisoning the project is literally suicidal and getting power from India amounts to pawning our future to an inveterate enemy, which can switch off supply when it most needed by us. The precendent is already set, with India raising dams and diverting water allocated to us under the Indus Waters Treaty. In times of floods and heavy rains, when we are finding it difficult to manage the swelling water, releasing more water to worsen our plight. The history of our relations goes against the logic of having such a deal with New Delhi, or granting it Most Favoured Nation status. Unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved with India, in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, all other ventures cannot be entered into in a positive spirit. Any attempt at normalising relations with it, without a change in the very real contentions between our two countries would be counterproductive to moving forward. The alternative to the Iranian gas the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline project being favoured by the Americans has to traverse a difficult terrain of 1,700km, mostly through war-torn, Taliban controlled Afghanistan which puts the projects practicality in serious doubt. It would also be self-defeating to believe that the departure of foreign troops by 2014 would immediately bring peace and harmony to the country. Besides, TAP gas, because of the extra infrastructure it requires, would be far more expensive than the IPs and less economically viable. The government has valid arguments to refuse US pressure in discontinuing the Iran gas pipeline project, it must make them heard.