Anti-taxes protest enters 6th day in Gilgit

GILGIT –  Hundreds of people and convoys from all 10 districts of Gilgit-Baltistan converged together in Gilgit city on Tuesday against the imposition of federal taxes without determining the constitutional status of the region.

The ongoing protest and shutter down strike entered the sixth day across G-B with thousands of people taking to the streets in Skardu, Gilgit, Hunza, Ghizer, Chilas and other major cities, demanding provincial and federal governments to withdraw the taxes until the people of the region were given basic and constitutional rights with full representation in the Parliament of Pakistan.

Thousands of protesters from Skardu, Ghizer, Astor, Diamer, Ghanche and other districts marched on Gilgit city to join the protest cam staged in the city in the last six days.

The protest camp has been set up on the call of the Central Association of Traders and the Awami Action Committee since December 21.

Addressing the protesters, opposition leader Muhammad Shafi Khan said that the GB people have already been paying various taxes but they have not been provided their basic and constitutional rights in the last 70 years.

PTI G-B Secretary General Fatullah Khan demanded that the Pakistan Army come forward to resolve the simmering crisis as the federal and the provincial government have turned a deaf ear to the concerns and apprehensions of the people who have been kept deprived of their rights in the last 70 decades despite their unflinching affection and sacrifices for the country

Awami Action Committee leader Maulana Sultan Raees said that G-B is a disputed territory and the imposition of federal taxes was unlawful and unconstitutional. He said that many promises regarding giving basic and constitutional rights to the people of the region were made in the past but no practical steps had been taken to fulfill the promises.

According to a press release, a high-level security meeting was held at Force Command Northern Areas (FCNA) Gilgit under the chair of FCNA Commandant. G-B chief secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, IGP Sabir Ahmed, representatives of intelligence agencies and others attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the security situation in the region and decided to take steps for maintaining the law and order.

Talking to the media, Gilgit city SSP Mansorul Haq said that 600 personnel of the police, GB Scouts and Pakistan Rangers have been deployed for the protection of life and property during the ongoing protest strike.

”The G-B police have finalized a separate security plan in this regard,” the SSP said.


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