Pakistan’s future energy endeavors were discussed in the Pakistan-US energy group meeting on Tuesday, and our longtime allies unsurprisingly seem to have a barrage of issues with the plans Pakistan wants executed to cover the shortfall. However, this time around, their counter arguments can be paraphrased in plain language as simple as, ‘You cannot do it, because we said so’. With regards to the Iran-Pak pipeline, the US stance is that that if Pakistan chooses to go ahead with the construction, it may find itself subject to sanctions, as a result of a US law which forbids supporting any foreign investment in Iran. However, they fail to realize that Pakistan is investing on the pipeline only on its own side of the border, and therefore should be safe from sanctions. Also, so far the US has chosen to ignore the fact that if Pakistan fails to meet its end of the bargain in the stipulated timeframe, it will be forced to pay the penalty of a whopping three million dollars. Not yearly, not monthly, but daily. So for the US to obstruct this deal is illogical and detrimental to Pakistan’s economy.

Their opposition to power generation by coal also came as a surprise considering Pakistan has an excess of carbon credits and abundant untapped coal reserves. Considering that this country is still in its developing stages, it should be allowed to burn coal as a form of fuel given that all developed nations have had that opportunity and have contributed significantly to carbon emissions across the globe. It is unfortunate that time and again Pakistan finds itself seeking a stamp of approval from a foreign country in order to protect its national interest. It is handicapped without foreign aid, and the US, for a change, must look at things from the Pakistani perspective.

The idea of a global policeman is fraught with controversy, but traditionally, the least that is expected is that it is supposed to be fair and logical. The US’ recent behavior is not reflective of that, but by making these demands from Pakistan it goes a step further down the slippery slope and hence, must reconsider. Pakistan is mired in problems and lacks initiative to find solutions, yet the precious few that are generated are shot down for no reason. Given that the US is supposed to be one of the key allies of this country, it should assist Pakistan in the rare positive steps that it takes for itself, instead of being an obstacle in their path.