LOWER DIR: Jamaat-i-Islami provincial deputy chief and former parliamentary leader in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly Inayatullah Khan has said that his party will put strong resistance against the conditional registration and seizure of non-custom paid (NCP) vehicles in Malakand division and merged districts of the province. Speaking at a news conference at the Balambat Ahya ul Uloom here on Sunday the former parliamentarian said that about 400,000 NCP vehicles across the province with majority in Malakand division had been the sole source of income of the majority of families since 1993. He said that Malakand Division had been a tax-free zone that was why people kept NCP vehicles.
The JI district chief Izazul Mulk Afkari, general secretary Hafiz Yaqub ur Rehman and secretary information Shuiab Ahmad were also present on the occasion.
Mr Inayat said the government should first take into account the customs and border security officials who allowed those vehicles to enter the province.
The former lawmaker said the previous parliament had extended the date of exemption from Sales and Income Tax till June 2024 under which the tax-free zone of Malakand was enacted. Condemning the incumbent caretaker government the JI leader said that despite parliamentary provision it wanted to impose income tax in Malakand division and crack down against the NCP vehicle. He said the government and its excise and taxation department had launched a conditional registration of such vehicles which was unconstitutional and illegal. He said the JI had no objection to collecting the data of NCP vehicles but a risky undertaking from the owners had spread panic and unrest in the area. “We will not be silent spectators on this issue and will announce our future course of actions after holding an all parties-conference in Malakand division”, Inayatullah said, adding that politicians, transporters and other stakeholders would be invited to participate in the conference to be convened soon. He asked the car owners to avoid the conditional registration of their vehicles as the region was tax-free and the caretaker government had no mandate to impose taxes here.
The registration of NCP vehicles in various districts of Malakand division has sparked widespread criticism from political parties and civil society. However; the officials earlier have ruled out the possibility of seizing or confiscating NCP vehicles in near future. According to officials of the customs department the government had extended the date of tax act till June 2024 but it did not include custom duty.