GILGIT: A multiparty conference called by the Gilgit-Baltistan Importers and Exporters Association here on Monday declared illegal the imposition of all federal taxes, including the customs duty, on the GB people till settlement of the constitutional status of the region.
The MPC announced complete support for the over two-month-long boycott of the China-Pakistan trade by the GB traders, labourers and transporters, through the Khunjerab pass, against the introduction of WeBOC system at the Sust dry port.
Members of GBLA, representatives of political parties, including PPP, PTI, religious and nationalist leaders, lawyers, labour union leaders and civil society activists attended the conference.
On the occasion, President Awami Action committee Maulana Sultan Raees said GB people had unanimously demanded the due rights enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. GB should be declared a tax-free zone till settlement of the constitutional status of the region, he demanded.
He warned of dire consequences if their demands were not met.
PPP president Amjad Hussain Advocate saidif Malakand division was exempted from taxes, then why federal taxes were imposed on GB people.
He declared that not addressing GB traders’ demands was a conspiracy against the CPEC project and akin to crippling the local economy.
Shakeel Ahmed Advocate, President of GB Chief Court Bar Association, said the FBR had not accepted the Chief Court’s order regarding suspension of WeBOC at the Sust dry port, which was humiliation of the GB judiciary.
Malik Kifait, president of Diamer Grand Jirga, said GB people had unanimously rejected the WeBOC system.
PTI’s Najeebullah Khan, PPP’s Javed Hussain, and others also spoke on the occasion.
Javed Hussain said WeBOC had been introduced to deprive GB residents of the benefits of China-Pakistan trade and to facilitate traders from the outside.
Ashfaq Ahmed, president of GB importers and exporters body, said so far no official of FBR had contacted them for talks since the suspension of the trade at the Sust dry port, which reflected on their apathy towards the problems of the region’s traders.
The MPC adopted a unanimous resolution, declaring that if the GB traders’ demands were not accepted till June 20, a shutter down and wheel-jam strike call would be given in all the 10 districts of the region.__Dawn.com