Gilgit: Taxation debate turns ugly as legislators scuffle, trade profanities

Gilgit: The debate over taxation turned ugly Thursday during an official briefing when three legislators indulged in a short scuffle, following hot exchange of words.

According to details, Health Minister Dr. Iqbal, Food Minister Haji Janbaz Khan, BNF leader Nawaz Khan Naji and Islami Tehreek leader Captain (r) Shafique created ruckus during a briefing session called especially to discuss the taxation debate, and possibly woe the opposition members who had yesterday walked out of the assembly and joined a protest demonstration. The briefing didn’t work according to the anticipations of the organizers.

The situation started when Dr. Iqbal and Nawaz Naji exchanged some unpleasant words, drawing in Haji Janbaz and Captain (r) Shafi. Janbaz reportedly threw a cup full of tea at Naji, but missed. When the situation escalated, other legislators sitting around sprang into action, separating them, and sending Naji and Shafi outside the briefing hall.

Later, the Speaker arranged a truce between the legislators. Fines were also imposed on Janbaz, Naji and Dr. Iqbal. The punishment is not only unique, but also a good news for members of the regional assembly; each of the three feuding legislators has been punished to pay for a meal for all members of the assembly. The legislators have agreed in principle to abide by the punishment.  Members of the assembly, for sure, can look forward to enjoying free meal thrice in the coming week!

There’s strong resentment against the imposition of withholding and income tax in the region. Two massive strikes have been arranged across the region, while rallies have also been organized in major towns and cities by leaders of the Anti-Tax Movement during the last two months. The protesters maintain that since Gilgit-Baltistan does not enjoy constitutional rights within the federation, therefore the federal government cannot impose taxes in the region.

The regional government, on the other hand, maintains that taxation is vital to ensure better governance. They also say that common people will not be affected by imposition of taxes in the region.

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One Comment

  1. Our all GBLA members need to be on one page for the development of Gb. All needs to be open minded to accept the differences of opinions and should convince one another through logic and rationale. We would never expect with policy makers and decision makers of GB to defame the GB through internal clashes. All needs to work for constitutional right and development of GB as well .All well wishers of GB are never ready to listen the news of such none professional approach of discussions on important issues. We appreciate Senior members who played mediator role and reduce the confusion. In the larger interest of GB please be on one page and sink and swim together.

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