Gilgit-Baltistan observes shutdown against taxes

Gilgit: Traders, shopkeepers and various other people representing the working class of the Gilgit-Baltistan went on a complete shutdown against the Pakistan’s immoral and unlawful imposition of taxes on people of the region.

The region, which has been given a step-motherly treatment by Islamabad, has been looted through the hefty taxes levied by the Federal Board of Revenue of Pakistan.

This has evoked widespread resentment against the Pakistani authorities who otherwise have not done anything in the welfare of the people of the region.

Masood Ahmad, a trader based in Gilgit, said, “Whatever business we do, tax is imposed on it. Be it transaction tax, withholding tax or crosscheck tax,; a number of taxes are being imposed on us that it has really become difficult to work for us. We cannot do any work. Due to these taxes, the poor people get affected. If we increase ten rupees of the shopkeeper, then they in turn increase it to twenty thus the poor people gets affected. We want that tax should not be imposed on the poor public.”

Pakistan has consistently maintained its oppressive attitude towards people of the region and have even ignored their basic demands.

Pakistan’s tacit policy has been to ignore the genuine interests of the region and never allow true democracy to thrive in the region.

Media, which has been working in collusion with Islamabad has muffled the issues of locals which has only emboldened Islamabad to further exploit the region through its draconian laws and policies.

Law fraternity believes that Pakistan has no right over the region to collect taxes.

Muzzafaradin, General Secretary, High Court Bar Association, “This ‘Shutter down’ strike announced by the traders, we are in full support with them because public has already been made aware about this issue and lawyers have been campaigning for a long time that there will be no illegal tax imposed in Gilgit Baltistan because we are not given the legal status , hence we will support traders’ fraternity. It is the issue of our public and our region.”

Islambad’s growing apathy towards the region and adoption of high handed measures to suppress reasonable voices of the region is a major concern today.

People of Gilgit-Baltistan have now become increasingly intolerant of the Pakistani occupation and they have intensified their ante against the authorities who have done nothing except plundering the resources.

Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and now under forceful occupation of Pakistan. (ANI)