JI chief addresses a press conference in Lower Dir on Wednesday.— Dawn
JI chief addresses a press conference in Lower Dir on Wednesday.— Dawn

LOWER DIR/CHITRAL: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq on Wednesday asked the government not to impose direct taxes in Malakand saying the division’s tax-free status has a constitutional cover.

Addressing a news conference in Timergara area here, the JI chief said Malakand was the worst hit by militancy, military offensive and floods.

He said the government had planned the establishment of the offices of the Federal Bureau of Revenue to bring the region in the tax net, but his party opposed direct taxes there.

Mr Siraj announced that his party would organise a rally against inflation, unemployment and corruption in Islamabad on Oct 31.

Says tax-free status of region protected by Constitution

He said record inflation and currency devaluation had stressed out the common man.

“The poor people are committing suicide due to the escalating inflation in the country,” he said, adding that the government had failed on all fronts.

The JI chief flayed the country’s economic managers for ‘begging’ the International Monetary Fund for money.

He complained that though the PTI had been ruling the province for eight years, neither had the Timergara Medical College been opened nor the 41 megawatts Koto hydropower project had begun production.

Mr Siraj said the prime minister had promised the construction of five million houses and provision of jobs to 10 million youth in the country, but those promises had yet to be fulfilled.

He said the chief minister announced the previous development projects during a recent visit to Lower Dir, which was a total disappointment.

The JI leader said the government should decrease airfare for Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia.

About the civil-military relations, he said the government was creating a rift among state institutions.

Mr Siraj said state institutions confronted each other due to the wrong policies of the government.

He said the PTI government, Election Commission of Pakistan, judiciary, and security establishment weren’t on the same page, which was not a good omen for the nation.

Meanwhile, the JI’s Lower Dir chapter announced the schedule of protest rallies against the government. Mr Izaz said the rallies would be held in Samarbagh, Munda, Maidan and Chakdara areas from Oct22 to Oct 24.

Meanwhile, JI leader Sirajul Haq on Tuesday said the ouster of the PTI government was direly needed to prevent the country from further socioeconomic and political crises and that his party would make a big announcement about it after staging a sit-in in Islamabad on Oct 31.

He told reporters after attending a mass wedding ceremony in the Parade Ground of Chitral city that the rulers had virtually mortgaged the country to the IMF for loans and therefore, the latter was dictating the former the prices of essential commodities and services to the misery of the people.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2021



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