"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Mathal
Full Name: Dj Mathal
User since: 14/Apr/2008
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By Dj Mathal
No taxation withoutrepresentation TAX is a money fixed by the state and citizens, which the latter pay to the government for spending on the betterment of the people and ensuring their social, economic, cultural and other well-being and improving their life standards.Governments all over the world formulate their budgets based on the volume of money received under the head of taxes.
But this happens only in free countries where the citizens have a say in the policy making process and the rulers do what the people want them to do.Under international laws, an occupying government cannot levy tax on the people under its control.
It is known to all that Gilgit-Baltistan is not part of any country and under the UN resolutions is a disputed region. Under the International laws, the control of Pakistan on Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be justified.
There is no taxation law in the world under which a country can levy taxes on people living out of its territorial jurisdiction. This is only possible when the people are brought under the ambit of the constitution of that country.For the last over six decades, Pakistan has been considering it its legal right to receive taxes from the people of Gilgit-Balatistan without giving them representation in its constitutional setup.
This is illegal and unconstitutional. Besides, taxes are also received sometimes under the name of Sost dry port tax from the local traders and sometimes at the pretext of Dasu development. Sometimes in the name of sale tax a huge amount of money is transferred to Islamabad and sometimes using the pretext of transfer of land the locals are looted.
In 2006, the Special Communication Service launched a mobile telephone service in Gilgit-Baltistan. Later, all national and international cellular companies operating in Pakistan moved to the region. Before the government allowed these companies to come to the region, legal experts and nationalist parties of Gilgit-Baltistan tried to draw the attention of the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly towards the issue but unfortunately as this so-called house of representatives has been a silent spectator to all illegal taxes in the region, the demand fell on deaf ears this time too.
We believe that no authority in the country has the right to levy tax on the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. Such type of taxes can only be termed Bhata. As in the streets of Punjab small thugs extort money from shopkeepers, Pakistani rulers think that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan do not know anything.
Such attitudes of the rulers have always created crises for Pakistan.Pakistan had a few years ago tried to set up the department of tax in the region but the move was aborted after the local traders went on a shutterdown strike in the whole area.
However, the rulers have imposed many taxes on the people since then in a gradual way without the realization of the people.The people of the region, especially the nationalist forces, should raise voice against the illegal taxation system in the region.
This is not a problem of an individual or a political party but there is a question of exploitation of over two million people. The legislative assembly should take up the matter and ask Pakistan that under which law it is imposing taxes on the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.The nationalist forces of the region should also take up the matter with the international organizations including the UN otherwise today if there are taxes being received at Sost and Kohistan, there is also a possibility that the locals would one day be compelled to pay taxes at every corner of the region.
Earlier, the Pakistan rulers filled their pockets by issuing leases of our resources to outsiders and foreign companies and now are receiving dollars in connivance with foreign cell companies. It seems that soon people of the region would be taxed even on drinking water of the area.
The rulers of Pakistan will be well placed if they follow international rules while dealing with the people of Gilgit-Baltistan lest the country becomes a laughing stock in the world.
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