The EEA and EUCZ – Connecting Europe Through Trade

Despite the rhetoric against terrorism, there is a realization in US of legitimate Pakistani interests in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Americans know they can’t have it both ways. If they seek active Pakistani support in peace process on Western border they will give some room on Eastern front. This East-West connection (linkage of Kashmir with Afghanistan) is detested much in India who conceives such thinking as falling into footprints of Pakistani security paradigm

This core cause of friction between PERFORMANCE FABRIC Pakistan and India, connected with a lot of problem in Afghanistan, will also be on the table when the two Presidents meet next year. Pakistan helps for Taliban primarily resolves around her basic security constant that they need a friendly government in Afghanistan because if not so: (1) the issue of Durand line and Pakhtoonistan would become troublesome, making Western border unstable. (2) Separatist elements in Balochistan would get stronger (as can be witnessed during last 10 years of Northern Alliance government in Afghanistan). (3) “Kashmir cause” would be damaged because of lack of strategic depth viz a viz India. The issue of operation in North Waziristan against Taliban (read Sirajuddin Haqqani network) is causing much friction recently between US and Pakistani governments and it would continue to do so till next year and will be subject of heated discussion during the talks. America wants face saving and not a retreat and withdrawal under fire. Sirajuddin Haqqani is responsible for increasing number of American fatalities in Afghanistan.

They want aggressive operation against the group eliminating their bases and command and control structure of Al Qaeda in those areas. But it is improbable that Pakistan would budge on the issue which is their source of strength on the negotiating table. On the other hand US won’t show any vocal support for the resolution of conflict in Kashmir except declaring it to be resolved bilaterally between Pakistan and India. Behind the scene help for settlement can’t be ruled out. On the trade and business front, passage of ROZ (Reconstruction Opportunity Zones) trade bill from US senate and inclusion of number of categories in the said bill will be subject of focus during the said visit. ROZ is a program to give duty free access to American markets for the areas affected by natural calamity and “American war on terror”. That was a Bush initiative. US Chamber of Commerce’s recently proposed to grant Pakistan duty-free treatment for certain textile and apparel products imported into the United States, in order to address recent flooding in Pakistan. The Chamber’s proposal calls for inclusion of apparel in the list of eligible products and expansion of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZ) to cover flood-ravaged regions in Pakistan. US total textile imports stands at $93 billion with apparel having market size of $72 billion. Pakistan’s share in US textile imports is just $3.1 billion.