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Gilgit Baltistan: Protests against tax-hike turn massive

Weeks-long protests against the taxation laws are gaining momentum and reaching wide across Gilgit Baltistan.

ANI | Updated: 15-11-2019 19:32 IST | Created: 15-11-2019 19:32 IST
Gilgit Baltistan: Protests against tax-hike turn massive
An anti-government demonstration called by Awami Action Committee has resonated with the mass and people from all walks of life have joined in to demand a rollback. . Image Credit: ANI

Weeks-long protests against the taxation laws are gaining momentum and reaching wide across Gilgit Baltistan. An anti-government demonstration called by Awami Action Committee has resonated with the mass and people from all walks of life have joined in to demand a rollback.

The Committee which has been fighting for the rights of the common people of Gilgit Baltistan says that tax-imposition is part of Pakistan's larger and systematic design of further suppressing the indigenous. The leaders have warned of stepping up their movement of the government doesn't give in to their demands.

Masood Ur Rahman, Leader of Awami Action Committee said while addressing the traders, "This is our warning to the government that the demands (of traders) we had raised on 25th (October) must be fulfilled otherwise this (Awami) Action Committee would call upon the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to come on streets to protest against the administration and this protest will be larger than earlier protest". The locals are not wrong when they call these actions agenda-oriented. Pakistan is in dire need of money and it looks up to its sole and perennial ally in Beijing for it.

And in order to provide a resistance-free thoroughfare to China's flagship project CPEC, the locals who are projecting need to be driven out of the region. Hence Islamabad is subjecting them every possible atrocity. A demographic change features amongst the top agendas to meet the need.

It is not just the taxation but Pakistan has used every trick in the book to marginalize them. These constitutionally-discriminated people are neither getting adequate electricity nor sufficient potable water.

Fida Hussain, another leader of the Awami Action Committee said in his address, "After having water in abundance (in Gilgit-Baltistan), we are not receiving water in our homes. We are being made to yearn for our own water. To avail these rights we must be aware and stay united". He added, "You have seen the Prime Minister's attitude towards he did not provide anything to us. So, you all should make it mandatory to raise united voices against them. These (Pakistani) parties are not going to help you. Until unless we all unite and form a party- only that party can fight for our rights. We should not trust these (Pakistani) administrative parties".

For years, the region has been enduring the state-backed economic depredations. On one side, it has been exploited on several layers...it has been used as a dump yard on the other occasions. However, people who had come to terms with this inhuman treatment are no more in the mood to live with the status quo. They are out on streets expressing dissent and demanding rights.

Islamabad might be playing down the situation in its domestic power corridors but a rebellion is certainly shaping up in illegally occupied Gilgit Baltistan. (ANI)


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