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Powerless in Pakistan, resentful of America

world Updated: Sep 11, 2008 00:39 IST
Kamal Siddiqi
Kamal Siddiqi
Hindustan Times
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The India-US nuclear deal has upset many Pakistanis. Principally, on account of what they believe are double standards on the part of the US administration.

“It is the right of every country to work in its national interest but the US tries to impose its will on others, which is what causes problems,” said Samia Raheel Qazi, an MP from the right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami party.

Many Pakistanis say that they identify with the power crisis in India because of the massive load shedding that is taking place currently in Pakistan. On average, with demand exceeding supply by about 30 per cent in peak hours, cities like Lahore and Karachi are seeing power cuts of about 12 hours a day.

Qazi, daughter of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Husain Ahmad, says that no Pakistani can grudge India being given access to such technology but at the end of the day, the US continues to play games.

They say that the US has given India the technology to wean it off the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline deal.

This, say many, goes against the interests of Pakistan. The power crisis in Pakistan has hit hard. “We should also be talking to America on the same lines,” one analyst said, possibly unaware that Washington has rejected previous overtures from Pakistan.

As America does not seem that keen to talk to Pakistan, Nazish Brohi, an activist and columnist, says that the China option should be explored further. “I think we should be doing the same with China, or Russia,” felt Brohi, adding that the US “acts as if it is the world authority on absolutely everything”.

However, the catch with China, said defence analyst Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, is that the technology on offer “is already with our scientists”.

Dr Siddiqa says that it sounds good on paper to go for the Chinese option, but at the end of the day, Pakistan can only gain if it has access to superior technology.

On the whole, many Pakistanis say that they were impressed by the stance of the Left parties in India that stood up to the deal because of the manner in which it was being concluded. “I wish we also had such voices in our society,” Brohi added.