The people of tribal areas will extend all-out support to the US officials. The US Congress should ensure proper utilisation of the fund. It is ironic that the Pakistani officials have selected a place outside the tribal areas for the Reconstruction Opportunity Zone.
Chief executive FATA Development Authority (FDA), Muhammad Shahzad Arbab while addressing a meeting of the members of Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here said that the first Reconstruction Opportunity Zone (ROZ) will be constructed in Shahkas area of Khyber Agency near Hayatabad after approval by the US Congress.
Textile, marble, gems and jewellery, leather and furniture units would be setup in the proposed ROZ in Shahkas area and the products to be manufactured in it would be exported to USA free of taxes, he added.
Arbab Shahzad said that FDA would provide plot for the establishment of ROZ in tribal areas. The SCCI should nominate its members for representation on the ROZ so that these could be run in a smooth fashion and with consultation of the stakeholders.
The CE FDA also sought cooperation and financial assistance of the commercial banks and invited them in invest in the ROZs.
He informed that FDA was working on a number of plans to improve socio-economic condition of the tribesmen, provision of technical education to the tribal youth and restoring peace in tribal belt to provide due protection to the local and foreign investors.
He said that Rs120 billion have been earmarked by the federal government for uplifting economic condition of the people of FATA and the completion of the proposed projects would certainly usher in new era of prosperity and development in hitherto neglected parts of the tribal regions.
He disclosed the FDA has planed to set up housing schemes in two tribal agencies and small dams at seven points in various tribal agencies. He said that FDA was also working on multi-sectoral uplift projects in the tribal areas.
Acting president of SCCI Haji Muhammad Israr has held the decision of the federal government regarding setting up of ROZs as vital for the socio-economic development of Fata. The SCCI has already submitted its recommendation to this effect, he maintained. He hoped that the industrialists and investors of NWFP would actively take part in ROZs.
There is a lot of contradiction in the statement of Pakistani official. The tribesmen demanded that the ROZs should be built in the tribal areas instead of Pakistani city. This time the tribesmen should not be ignored in decision about their areas.