Pakistan plays vital role in safe withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan: US Senator

Pakistan plays vital role in safe withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan: US Senator

ISLAMABAD, Aug 03 (APP): The US Senator Christopher J Van Hollen has said that Pakistan has played an important role in the safe withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan.

In an exclusive talk with PTV World, he said there was a lot of uncertainties after the US forces withdrawal and it was neither in Pakistan nor in America interest to see chaos in Afghanistan. The senator said, “I foresaw an economic opportunity in peace that is both in favour of Afghanistan and its neighbouring states.”

He said Pakistan’s influence over Talban was overrated, responding to a question regarding the US insisting Pakistan to “do more” despite all the efforts and sacrifices rendered by the latter, Hollen said, “There is a limit to which Pakistan can influence. Pakistan has already played an important role to bring Taliban to the negotiating table. Pakistan’s role in future will influence Biden administration to engage with Pakistan.”

He said the future of Pak-US relations would primarily rely on the role that Pakistan opts to play in Afghanistan. “People overstate the role Pakistan in Afghanistan. I don’t think Pakistan can control what will happen in Afghanistan. There are factions, people and parties that have control in Afghanistan.”

Senator Hollen along with his colleague Senator Maria Cantwell who had recently worked on ‘The Pakistan-Afghanistan Economic Development Act’, a bipartisan bill, which calls for the establishment of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZS) in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border regions to allow textile and apparel goods from these areas to enter the United States duty-free.

Regarding the proposed bill, he said, “This is an important moment. This is why I have encouraged Biden administration to work with us to make reconstruction opportunity Zones,

areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan including areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan”.

He said the products from these areas especially textile should have duty-free access to the US, which would be a bigger step in economic development of the region.