PESHAWAR - Leader of various political parties and lawmakers from Malakand division expressed severe resentment over the unilateral decision of Pakistan Muslim League (N) government to extend Custom Act 1969 to Malakand division.

They termed it sheer violation of the agreement made with people of Malakand at the time of accession.

Talking to The Nation, Provincial President of Awami National Party and Member of National Assembly Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said that ANP strongly condemns this decision of the federal government on the recommendation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and said that this was the result of the mandate given by the people of Malakand division to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamaat-e-Islami.

He said that whatever the circumstances are ANP will fully resist this move at any forum and will not allow the federal government to impose their decision on the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Malakand.

He said that Awami National Party will coordinate this issue with all political parties to chalk out future line of action.

“This is not the time to put more burden on the militancy affected people of Malakand division and instead of extending Customs Act, government should provide relief to them,” he remarked.

Haider Khan maintained that entire infrastructure, schools and hospital were damaged in military operation and earthquake, and they need comprehensive relief package for rehabilitation.

The people of Malakand division had not hoisted Pakistani flag for punishing them in term of taxation but they had demonstrated love with this country by rejecting extremism, he said.

Pakistan People Party MPA from district Malakand Mohammad Ali Shah Bacha also condemned federal government for not taking the opposition parties into confidence on this issue of vital importance.

He said that people of Malakand division are not ready to accept this Customs Act, as the princely states joined Pakistan under written agreement of custom tax exemption.

He said that important meeting of all political parties belonging to Malakand division has been convened in district Malakand to establish a joint coordination against this move of the federal government.

Jamaat-e-Islami Member of National Assembly from Buner, Sher Akbar Khan also condemned this unilateral decision of Pakistan Muslim League (N) government. “There is no road access to mountainous areas and people are still using mules and donkeys as mean of transportation to shift their goods from the market to mountains,” he said.

“There is no industry in the area and there is any other employment opportunity, but the poor people are only using their manpower in foreign countries to bring capital to Pakistan,” he said.

“We will not support this move at any cost and will resist it on the floor of National Assembly,” Sher Akbar vowed.

Pakistan Muslim League (N) MNA in National Assembly from Shangla Ibadullah also expressed his disagreement with his party decision to extend Custom Act in Malakand division.

He said that he is resident of this area and the people of Malakand division have trusted them to serve them.

He said that he will not support federal government in this issue and will favour the cause of their own people.

The extension of Customs Act 1969 to Malakand division has been widely condemned by common people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and asked PTI MNAs to break its meaningful silence over this important issue.

They said that people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have given mandate to PTI not for giving recommendation to federal government regarding imposition of new taxes upon them but they had mandated them to give them economic relief.