A view of the border fence outside the Kitton outpost on the border with Afghanistan in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

The United States is once again considering setting up duty-free export zones along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and “a bipartisan bill will soon be tabled in the US Senate to discuss the initiative.”

According to a news published in a section of the Pakistani press, Democrat Senator Van Hollen proposed a legislation regarding Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) and export of some duty-free goods produced in them to the United States.

This is not the first time that the establishment of ROZs in the area has come up for discussion.

The US House of Representatives adopted a bill to set up such spaces in 2009 while hoping to provide dignified livelihood means to the residents of the region.

However, the idea was abandoned due to the militant violence in the area that made it difficult to implement the plan.

The senator has reportedly also advocated US-Pakistan dialogue to enlist Islamabad’s support to end the protracted conflict in Afghanistan.

His proposal was endorsed by the special US envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad who acknowledged Pakistan’s positive role in Afghan peace talks.

Senator Van Hollen said the proposed legislation would be a “conditioned-based tool that the president of the United States will have the authority to calibrate, based on conditions on the ground.”

“I know other parts of the administration are looking at it as a positive tool that we can deploy in trying to shape the future of this region,” he said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here