SWAT - The elders of Malakand division have completely rejected the imposition of Customs Act in the division.

In this connection a grand jirga of Malakand division elders was held in a local hotel here at Mingora where large numbers of traders, lawyers, journalists, politicians, civil society members and different community members participated. The elders collectively passed three points resolution during the grand jirga and demanded from federal government that the President of Pakistan should endorse the summary of provincial GOVERNMENT endorsed by Chief Minister Pervaz Khattak and Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra.

The second demand of the resolution says that Chief Minister Pervaz Khattak through Inspector General of Police should cascade the message to the concerned station house officer not to lodge any FIR under customs act against innocent citizen of Malakand division.

The jirga authority said that if further FIR was lodge against their member than the people of the entire valley will throng the respective police station and both provincial and federal government will be held responsible for any untoward incident.

The grand jirga criticized the absence of Prime Minister’s Advisor Ameer Muqam adding that despite many invitations Advisor to PM didn’t participate in any of meeting regarding customs act.

It is pertinent to mention here that both elected MNA’s of Swat Murad Saeed and Saleem ur Rehman were not present in the jirga.

Addressing on the occasion Quami Watan Party division zone Chief Fazal Rehman Nono said that Ameer Muqam’s role in the entire episode was suspected because as a federal government representative he does pay heed to grievances of the Malakand people.

Swat traders federation President Abdur Rahim said that according to constitution government should first take the local people and administration on board before imposing any act or taxation but they were not taken on board.

He further said that if the government did not revert back its decision then people of the Malakand division won’t pay their utility bills in protest.

While clarifying the status of Provincial government MPA Dr Haider Ali said that this is the third attempt of federal government to imposing tax in Malakand division but due to strong resistance of the people back in 1974 and 1994 respectively, they were compelled to take back their decision.

He said that PTI government first recorded its protest against the imposition of the act in Malakand, adding, “Our government made separate summary against the customs act which was forwarded to federal government and now the ball is in their court.