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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Mathal
Full Name: Dj Mathal
User since: 14/Apr/2008
No Of voices: 115
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The tax bomb

The greedy and corrupt rulers of Pakistan, whose lust for money seems never to be satiated and who continue living like kings without an iota of shame indulging in blatant corruption, robbery on others rights besides siphoning national wealth out of the country at the expense of the poor masses, have now resolved to also impose taxes on the masses of Gilgit-Baltistan. And as a first steps, they have directed the accountant general of Pakistan (revenue) to deduct tax on a monthly basis from the salaries of government employees, both provincial and federal. As a result, rules and procedures are being chalked out to levy tax on the salaries of all public servants.
Corruption watchdog agencies and NGOs like the Transparency International in their very recent reports have made it clear that the federal and provincial governments in Pakistan have totally failed to keep tabs on corruption, irregularities, malpractices and pilferage of public money in the departments working under their jurisdiction. And it would be of utmost interest for the public to know that the reports have also pointed out that Rs300 billion were pilfered or misappropriated in a single year only by the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), which is supposed to collect taxes and deposit it in the national kitty of Pakistan. At the moment, the situation has reached such a sorry state that anti-democracy, anti-people and conscienceless elements who have reached power corridors by sheer chance or due to bad luck of the masses while considering it their last run saloon are looting the resources of the country from both hands. This has also created a situation in which the federal government is even unable to legally generate funds needed to run the affairs of the state. Besides, corruption culture has permeated all fabrics of society and no citizen is immune to it.
When people see that their rulers and elected representatives are fearlessly committing corruption, they also consider it a way out to use illegal and corrupt means to get things done. As such, when someone uses any available means to evade taxes or follow rule of law, there is no one who can correct him because the cancer of corruption has become the way of life from top to bottom? Pakistan is a country where no one having the resources like traders, businessmen, landlords and industrialists is ready to come forward and pay taxes because they very rightly think that there is no guarantee the tax they are going to pay would be spent on the welfare of the people. This is despite the fact that all the four provinces of Pakistan are constitutional units of the federation and they are entitled to all constitutional, economic and social and legal rights as guaranteed in the constitution of 1973. Besides, corruption, the government for the last many years has been dropping 'economic bombs' on the masses in shape of rises in petroleum prices, electricity rates and rising inflations.
The hard hit sections of society in this situation are the salaried class and those with limited sources of income who are now becoming unable to meet ends meet.
And as if all this was not enough, corrupt elements and sugar barons sitting in the government have hoarded sugar in a large scale to push the prices sky high and loot billions of rupees from the poor. As a result, prices of this basic commodity which should be available at a nominal rate in an agricultural country like Pakistan have crossed over Rs100 a kg. Not only sugar, prices of all basic commodities and food items have gone out of the reach of the common men and in areas like Gilgit-Baltistan, where most of the people have been devastated by the recent rains and floods with agricultural crops spoiled, people are facing starvation-like situation with governments and local authorities busy in their own activities of loot and plunder. Even the prices of life-saving drugs have gone up by 500 to 1,000 percent as compared to India. This has also hit the poor hard and due to unavailability of medicines in public sector hospitals, poor patients are dying of preventable diseases.
And as another bolt from the sky, dengue virus has also reached many areas and due to lack of precautionary measures, the masses are at the mercy of the crippling disease, especially in far-off regions like Gilgit-Baltistan. Hospitals in the region are short of medicines to treat and disease what to talk of platelets which are necessary to save the life of the patient. As a result, dengue patients have to travel for about 18 hours and reach Abbottabad for treatment. Most of patients die before reaching a proper hospital or knowing the difficulties which await them in Pakistani hospitals they never venture out of home. In such a situation, what should the rulers of Pakistan do? Had they got some sense of responsibility and remember the slogans they chanted before coming to power, they would have done something for the welfare and betterment of the masses. But alas, the shameless rulers are adamant on sucking the blood of the economically dying masses and want to impose taxes in Gilgit-Baltistan too which is not a constitutional part of Pakistan.
The masses of GB should remember that when the rulers were imposing the latest package in 2009 chanting the slogan of roti, kapr aur makan, we had warned you that under these slogans there was something fishy and your lives would be crippled economically. Pakistan is already taking away billions of rupees per year from this region but in return even hesitates to give us the paltry amount of money allocated under the budget. Besides, under any law, Pakistani or international, Islamabad has no authority to impose taxes in Gilgit-Baltistan which is a disputed region under the UN resolutions.
Our region has the economic capacity to meet all the needs of its people and also feed others but we can take benefit from our resources only when we have the right and independence to utilize our wealth as we wish. But at the moment we have no institutions that guarantee our rights. Take the example of the working class, there is no organization or forum in GB that can work or raise voice for their rights.
We once again express our condemnation of the decision to impose tax in GB and ask the people of the region to realize their responsibilities and get united and raise voice against Pakistan's illegal, unjustified and cruel move to further paralyze the life of the masses. We ask the government to withdraw its decision and take measure to ensure the basic rights of the people here instead of crippling them under the tax burden.

(www.bangesahar.com)

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