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pakistan
Saturday May 01 2021
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US senators introduce bill to establish duty-free economic zones along Pak-Afghan border

A file photo of the Torkham border

  • Bill to establish Reconstruction Opportunity Zones along Pak-Afghan border region introduced in US Senate.
  • The bill is called the 'Pakistan-Afghanistan Economic Development Act'.
  • Pakistani-born American Democrat leader Tahir Javed says this legislation allows textile goods to be sent to US without duty.


WASHINGTON/ LAHORE: US senators have introduced a bipartisan bill to promote and generate economic benefits for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The bill is called the 'Pakistan-Afghanistan Economic Development Act'. The legislation proposes the set up of a reconstruction opportunity zones along Pak-Afghan border areas.

“The bill would establish Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border regions to allow certain products from these areas to enter the US duty-free,” a statement read.

Read more: 'Peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan,' reiterates Gen Bajwa in meeting with Afghan envoy

The bipartisan bill was introduced by Democrat Senators Van Hollen, Maria Cantwell and Republican Senator Todd Young.

The outlined objectives of the say that fostering trade with the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region will help bolster economic development and improve the livelihoods of local populations, The News reported.

The publication reported that the effort will further US diplomatic objectives in the region by contributing to political stability and addressing the root causes of violent extremism, as well as expanding trade with Pakistan will strengthen ties with a key strategic partner and enhance economic development in a region important to US interests.

Bill will be of great benefit to Pakistan for 10 years: US democrat leader

Pakistani-born American Democrat leader and well-known businessman Tahir Javed says this legislation allows textile goods to be sent to US without duty.

"If [this] bill becomes part of law after approval, it will be of great benefit to Pakistan for 10 years," he said, adding that Pakistan's exports to US could increase tenfold.

Read more: US troops to leave Afghanistan by September 11

Javed expressed the belief that the legislation will bring economic benefits to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The democrat leader said the bill has been introduced to promote stability in the region and can solve many of Pakistan's problems.

The Democrat leader said this bill could mean relations between Pakistan and US may find a new direction

Efforts will be made to get 60 votes in making the economic bill a law, he said.