The news about the ratification of the $1.5billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline deal by the cabinet is good for the people of this energy-starved country.
The building of the much-needed and long-awaited gas pipeline is strategically important.
On the one hand, it will shoulder the growing energy crisis, and, on the other, it will give a clear message to the US that regional powers cannot be dictated anymore in their internal matters.
The gas pipeline project has already been delayed for nearly 20 years due to undue opposition from the US and efforts to sideline Iran’s role in regional politics.
On the other hand there was sheer negligence on the part of the previous governments that put the project on the backburner of their policies.
However, this step is quite encouraging and positive toward mitigating the energy crisis.
But here are few questions that arise: how much can Iran export its gas to the Pakistani market and for how long? Can this be taken as a long term strategy?
If not then what strategy should be adopted in the long run to avoid natural gas shortage?
Would imported natural gas be wasted again by fuelling transports or any other strategy would be adopted to ensure the inflow of the fuel for transports?
Or is there any intention of the government to improve the public transport system? Is the current law and order situation in Balochistan, the only shortest route, favourable to support the construction of the mammoth pipeline?
What about the royalties and job opportunities that would be given to the people of Balochistan?
It is hoped that the federal government would come up with effective steps towards the realising of the project. Pakistan is in such a condition that further delay in developmental projects would prove suicidal for the country.