Political leaders reject tax implementation in Malakand division

By Our Correspondent
May 19, 2024
PPP Lower Chitral President Engineer Fazal Rabi Jan (C) speaks during a press conferenceat the Chitral Press Club on May 18, 2024. — Facebook/Daily Chitral Online

CHITRAL: Leaders from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), traders union, and the District Bar Association have unanimously rejected the government’s decision to impose taxes in Malakand division, particularly in Chitral district.


At a press conference on Saturday at the Chitral Press Club, they demanded a 50-year tax exemption extension for the region.

The presser was attended by PPP Lower Chitral President Engineer Fazal Rabi Jan, PML-N President Abdul Wali Khan Advocate, JUI leader Maulana Abdul Rahman, District Bar Association President Sajidullah Advocate, and Traders Union President Bashir Ahmad.

The speakers said that former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had exempted Malakand division from taxes for 50 years due to its underdevelopment. The leaders argued that Chitral still faced extreme poverty, unemployment, deteriorated roads, lack of healthcare and education facilities, and basic food and water issues, making it incapable of bearing new taxes.

They emphasised on the significant roles PPP and PML-N have played in maintaining tax exemptions for Malakand division and Chitral. The leaders condemned the provincial government’s push for tax implementation, calling it an act of oppression against the people.

They pointed out that Chitral lacked industries or major businesses, with residents relying mainly on salaried employment for livelihood.

The leaders asserted that the government could only demand taxes if it provides essential services like paved roads, healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. They thanked PPP Chitral President Engineer Fazal Rabi for uniting various political parties and facilitating a collective stance.

They said that the locals’ unified position would be presented to Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Faisal Karim Kundi during his visit to Lower Dir to inform him of Chitral’s situation and demands.