Ambitious 15-year anti-terror US plan for FATA, NWFP revealed

December 24th, 2007 - 2:15 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Dec 24 (ANI): An ambitious 15-year anti-terror investment plan is ready for implementation after it is cleared by the US Congress under a policy to eradicate extremism through development of the most affected parts of Pakistan.
The four areas deemed as most-impacted are the NWFP, FATA, a 100-mile strip in Balochistan and the earthquake-hit parts of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
Factories and production lines set up in these areas would enjoy export facilitation to American markets offered by the US at zero-rated duty.
The US authorities have refused to include textile sector under this plan, while Islamabad is vying for the inclusion of the entire province of Balochistan for the unusual benefits.
A central authority is being created, composed most likely of the Sarhad Development Authority and the Board of Investments relevant chapter, to monitor activities in the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) to be created for streamlining investment and facilitation.
The most likely areas to have operational production lines in the ROZs in NWFP would be Bannu, Hangu, Gadoon, Risalpur, Nowshera, Jalozai, Matani, Kohat and Ghazi. In Balochistan, these ROZs would be set up in Chaman and Quetta.
The US has refused to invest in the infrastructure projects required for setting up these ROZs, while Islamabad wants that once the facility exhausts after 15 years it should be extended for another reasonable period.
The NWFP and Balochistan governments and the POK administration are expected to ask for additional allocations from Islamabad for financing the infrastructure projects for ROZs, The News reported.
The government would not allow trade union activity in the ROZs, as per its initial plan, though all the ILO-sponsored facilities have been promised to workers.
The worker-training exercise would be carried out at the existing facilities set up by the provincial governments, while new facilities would also be created where required, as per the plan of the government which is currently being studied by the relevant US Congress officials. (ANI)

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