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Cablegate: Planning for Rozs: Stakeholders Meeting On Locations

VZCZCXRO1592
RR RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #2868 2421022
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291022Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8566
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 9061
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3699
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 8590
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 0237
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 5977
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 4784
RUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHIL/ODRP ISLAMABAD PK

UNCLAS ISLAMABAD 002868

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV ETRD PGOV PREL PK AF
SUBJECT: PLANNING FOR ROZS: STAKEHOLDERS MEETING ON LOCATIONS

1. (SBU) Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) Chief Minister Ameer
Haider Khan Hoti convened an August 21 meeting between provincial
and federal officials to discuss the selection of Reconstruction
Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in the NWFP and Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (FATA). Federal Minister for the Frontier Region
Najmuddin Khan and FATA native Hamidullah Jan Afridi, Federal
Minister of Environment, represented the federal government.
Following the meeting, the NWFP government announced the formation
of a standing ROZ implementation committee, chaired by the NWFP
Minister of Industries and comprised of representatives from the
federal government, NWFP government and FATA authority. The
committee has been tasked to identify existing industrial estates in
the NWFP and FATA for ROZ designation. The committee will
reportedly submit its recommendations to the GOP by the end of
September.

2. (SBU) Local media reports that provincial and federal officials
remain at odds over the location of the proposed zones. NWFP Chief
Minister Hoti was quoted as saying that the Government of Pakistan
(GOP) will only consider sites that are "ready for investment and
already have all infrastructure facilities" for first round site
selection. Declaring that the ROZs are a means for employment
generation in and around Pakistan's tribal areas, Hoti conceded that
the GOP will likely select locations in the settled and more stable
parts of the NWFP, in which "economic activities can start
tomorrow." In contrast, Federal Minister for the Frontier Region
Najmuddin Khan advocated that ROZs be placed in NWFP-administered
tribal areas, including Lower and Upper Dir, Swat, Buner and
Chitral. Khan reportedly encouraged the GOP to designate the
provincial tribal areas as a means of reducing Taliban and extremist
influence in the province.

3. (SBU) Comment: Collaboration between federal and provincial
governments remains critical to the success of the ROZ selection
process. All three government entities in question- the federal
government, provincial government and FATA authority- will have to
cooperate and compromise in order to quickly and effectively
designate sites for future ROZs. Post will continue to work closely
with the relevant authorities to urge inter-governmental cooperation
to ensure that sites with the greatest potential benefit are
selected as ROZs. Post also continues to press for cooperation on
labor and customs issues in advance of ROZ implementation. End
Comment.

PATTERSON

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