In addition to summarizing the historical and current policy context of the region, the report offers a deep dive into the political economy that shapes cross-border mobility (for travelers, traders, transporters, and resident communities of the area) narrated through the experiences of target research groups. These narratives are supplemented by detailed observation reports of the border control points for a granular picture of a complex region.

Key findings which emerged from the research include:

  • The combination of visa requirements, new regulations at the border control points (BCPs), and the fence has caused a significant loss of employment for the most poor and vulnerable groups in the borderland milieu, in addition to disrupting the supply chains for local market systems.
  • Cross-border communities are becoming more divided, weakening links and networks between individuals, families and institutions across the border.
  • With the governance reform initiative to merge erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, borderland residents in Pakistan are negotiating a transition in identity from residents of a “free” tribal region to full citizens of a major province.