Tax Issues in Gilgit-Baltistan

(Abdul Rehman Mir, Islamabad)

Tax is a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions. However, the soul definition of the word ‘tax’ cannot be achieved when it is the matter of the so-called disputed land Gilgit-Baltistan. Gilgit-Baltistan is the only partial area of Pakistan whose identity is still under the mask. The ancestors of the present people of Gilgit-Blatistan got independence from the Dogra regime after the independence of Pakistan and declared its amalgamation with Pakistan. Since then, the people of this region have been struggling to get it accepted by the government of Pakistan that Gilgit-Baltistan should given be provincial status and must be declared as the fifth province of the country.

The current scenario in Gilgit and Baltistan seems ambiguous as the government of Pakistan has reportedly been asking for tax. On the other hand, the people of the region devotedly responded to the government seeking constitutional rights to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. In this situation, it seems very vague to know that why the government imposes taxes on such a land whose identity is still at a stake. If the government wants to implement tax rules in this region then why doesn’t the government give the people of this region their due constitutional rights and declare provincial status. Unless, these two questions are clearly responded, no tax and other obligations are fairly entertained.

Moreover, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are blatantly demanding their rights in return they would obey every rules imposed upon them. Obviously, they are neither obdurate nor traitors but what they demonstrate is candid response to the government’s attitude towards them. It is an uncertain moment to ponder about this region; the people are rushing towards Pakistan but the governments of Pakistan seem to pushback them.

To sum up, the importance of C-PEC cannot be ignored at all as China’s emerging economic strategies may impact the economy of the country. Gilgit-Baltistan has not now achieved geographic significance after the strategic functions of CPEC. The CPEC route which crosses the valleys from Khanjurab to Gawader would only be possible if the government works on the prosperity and development of this ignored region. The government of Pakistan needs to be serious about the status and identity of Gilgit-Baltistan and must define it constitutionally. The conundrum of Gilgit-Baltistan must be resolved in a true sense just for the betterment of Pakistan if not for the people of this region.

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About the Author: Abdul Rehman Mir

Read More Articles by Abdul Rehman Mir: 30 Articles with 33162 views »
I am a poet, Columnist, writer, social Worker and a lecturer in English Language and Literature at University level. .. View More
16 Nov, 2017 Views: 2339

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