Islamabad, December 6: Gilgit – Baltistan cannot progress without generating internal revenues. True autonomy requires economic self reliance. If a person can spend 4 Crore rupees on electioneering, why can’t he pay 4 lac rupees as tax? An organized anti-Taxation mafia is misleading the people of Gilgit – Baltistan.
These views were expressed by PML (N) Chief Organizer, Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman, while addressing a session held by the Gilgit – Baltistan Journalists Forum, here in Islamabad.
Hafeez also said that due to absence of a taxation regime, corruption is very high in Gilgit – Baltistan. He further observed that the people of GB have been systematically turned into “tax-thieves”, in order to decrease their self-reliance and increase their dependency.
He further clarified that in Gilgit – Baltistan PML (N) is against paying taxes to Islamabad. “We are all for taxes that are generated in Gilgit – Baltistan and spent here”, he said.
PPP General Secretary, Ghulam Muhammad, said that although the present Presidential Order is constitutionally not protected, there is little chance that any future government will roll back the package. “Even the constitution of Pakistan is not protected, what to talk of the presidential order”, the PPP General Secretary said.
JUI leader and GB Council Member, Attaullah Shahab, said that there is lack of capacity in Gilgit – Baltistan. He said that the capacity deficit is at all levels. He also said that international corporations are highly interested in the resource rich GB region.
Professor Umm-e-Kulsoom of the Quaid-e-Azam University said that the students of GB have great potential and the regional leadership shall make resources and opportunities available for them in order to use their capacities for developing the region.
MLA Imran Nadeem, Dr. Ghulam Abbas (GBNA) and Mehnaza Shaikh (Sungi Foundation) also spoke at the occasion.
Other speakers included Alam Noor Haider, Kashif Bonjvi, Babu Astori, Shahid Astori, Faizullah Faraq, Ali Yar and Noor Muhammad, members of the Gilgit – Baltistan National Students Alliance.
The program was held in collaboration with the Gilgit – Baltistan Human Rights Advocacy Network and Sungi Foundation. It was hosted by Samar Abbas Qazafi and Ghulam Rasool Rana, leaders of the GB Journalist Forum.