LOWER DIR: The Awami National Party Lower Dir chapter on Wednesday rejected a crackdown against non-custom paid vehicles and imposition of taxes in Malakand division and announced to resist the government’s move. Speaking at a news conference at the Timergara press club the ANP district president and former MPA Haji Bahadar Khan, senior vice president Malik Sajjad Khan, tehsil president Ulfat Hayat, Malik Ikram and others said the caretaker government and the administration wanted to add to people’s miseries. They said the caretaker government had no mandate to impose taxes. The ANP leaders said that Malakand division had been a tax-free zone and the people would never accept any unilateral decision in that regard. They said the administration had started a crackdown against the NCP vehicles in all districts of Malakand division. They said the ANP would strongly resist taxing the NCP vehicles as it was the only party that fought for the rights of Pukhtun.
The ANP leaders said that Malakand had been the worst region affected by militancy, flash floods and earthquakes in the near past, so the government should provide relief to its residents. They claimed that the ANP rendered great sacrifices for restoration of peace in the region and lost dozens of its leaders and workers while countering militancy. They said the caretaker government had to conduct general elections in the country and it was not its responsibility to take important decisions as it had no public mandate. The ANP leaders threatened that it would bring people on the roads if the government did not reverse its decision regarding taxing the NCP vehicles.
Meanwhile the PPP also rejected the administration’s decision to register the NCP vehicles with the excise and taxation department. Talking to local journalists the PPP district secretary information and former district councilor advocate Alam Zeb the PPP would observe a complete shutter down and wheel jam strike if the government failed to reverse its decision regarding the NCP vehicles’ registration. He said the government’s announcement had spread panic and anger among millions of people in Malakand division. The PPP activist said the government should provide education, healthcare and other civic facilities to people of Malakand before imposing taxes on them. He said the people were finding it difficult to earn livelihood for their families in the current inflation and price hike. He demanded of the district administration to stop harassing the transporters and owners of the NCP cars in the district.