BARA: Tribal traders and industrialists staged a protest on Thursday against the possible imposition of taxes and closed the main Pak-Afghan Highway in Jamrud tehsil.
The protest rally started from the Jamrud Press Club and culminated at the Bab-e-Khyber where the protesters blocked the highway. Besides traders and industrialists, the activists of political parties also participated in the rally.
The protesters were carrying placards and shouted slogans against the possible imposition of taxes on the traders and industrialists in Fata. Pakistan People's Party leader Sohail Afridi, trader Zubair Afridi, Imran, Hazrat Ali from Bajaur, Zahid Kokikhel, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI) leader Said Kabir Afridi and others spoke on the occasion. "We have already suffered in prolonged militancy, but the imposition of taxes would tantamount to economic murder of tribal people," said Zubair Afridi.
He demanded the government to provide traders relief in terms of electricity supply, sales tax, income tax and other federal taxes as part of their Fata's mainstreaming measures. He said all the tribal people would launch protest drive if taxes were imposed in the tribal belt.
Another political leader and industrialist, Sohail Afridi, said the government should offer interest-free loans to the tribal industrialists and traders as the people had already suffered for more than a decade due to militancy. He warned that if the government did not review the decision, they would launch protest sit-in outside Governor's House and the Parliament House.