It remains a mystery why the government intends to buy electricity from India even though it would be costlier by Rs 5 than the price it is available from Iran. It appears this is part and parcel of the government’s policy of appeasing New Delhi where it has showered it with MFN status and has been simultaneously keeping mum on Kashmir conflict as well as the issue pertaining to water theft. That it is now planning to buy electricity from India despite repeated offers of supply at a cheaper rate by the Iranian government also amounts to playing ducks and drakes with taxpayers’ money.

Given the mutual hostility, there is every possibility that during times of friction, India would resort to cutting off the supply as it has been doing with canals flowing from Indus river system. Since India is prone to belligerence at the smallest of provocations, and would go to great lengths to harm us, it is not wise to make the country dependent on it especially for a commodity that can be used as a strategic weapon. It is also understandable that with the passage of time India would spike the prices to put financial strain on the country. Secondly, it makes one’s hackles rise to know that largely this electricity is being generated on the rivers whose water has been reserved specifically for Pakistan’s use under the Indus Waters Basin Treaty. If this water is allowed to flow freely in Pakistan as the treaty categorically stipulates, there is no reason why we should not be able to generate enough electricity on our own. It is outrageous that the PPP setup now plans to buy electricity which will in fact amount to condoning India’s construction of dams and hence make it a party to this crime against the country. Worse still the government has done nothing to pressurise India to demolish scores of illegal dams on our rivers which also gives the impression that it is least bothered about water theft. If it is serious about energy crisis, it should build large dams instead of relying for its needs on India. Since it would need only a few years, Kalabagh dam is the best choice that should be immediately built.

In the meanwhile as a short term measure, we must also look towards Iran, a brotherly country that can be relied upon in times of distress. The government has an obligation to the people and the country to guard national interests. Buying electricity from India is a step that no one would approve of and which would undoubtedly invite public wrath.