Khyber traders protest imposition of taxes
Traders staging protest against expected imposition of taxes in the erstwhile Fata. – Photo by Sajid Ali Kukikhel

JAMRUD: The traders community of Khyber tribal district along with the local people on Thursday blocked Pak-Afghan Highway to record their protest against expected imposition of taxes.

A rally was also held from Jamrud Press Club to Bab-e-Khyber which was attended by traders, political activists and other people in large number. The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against expected imposition of taxes in the erstwhile tribal region.

The trade union and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Syed Akbar Afridi said, “Imposition of taxes in the terror-affected region is like imposition of terror. We will stage protests in front of Governor House and also in Islamabad if the government imposed taxes on us.”

Protesters block Pak-Afghan highway against expected imposition of taxes in the erstwhile Fata. – Photo by Sajid Ali Kukikhel

The protesters after reaching Bab-e-Khyber briefly blocked the highway for all kinds of traffic.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet during its meeting few days ago approved exemption of the erstwhile tribal areas from taxes for the next five years. The tribal people were also allowed to use non-custom paid vehicles for the next five years, but they were not allowed to use these vehicles outside the jurisdiction of erstwhile Fata region. The ECC said the tax system in Fata will be regularised after five years.

The tribal areas also got exemption from withholding taxes.