Thousands in Gilgit Baltistan join long march against Pakistan’s repressive measures

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In a massive anti-Pakistan campaign, thousands of people from Skardu launched a historic long march towards Gilgit city – headquarter of Gilgit Baltistan, against the unlawful imposition of taxes by Islamabad.

Protesters chanted slogans like “Chalo-Chalo Gilgit Chalo” and “Gunda Tax. Namanzoor” as they will set to stage for a protest camp in Gilgit against Pakistan’s oppressive policies.

The Awami Action Committee comprised of various political and religious parties, and civil society representatives at large are demanding a quashing of taxes imposed by Islamabad in Gilgit-Baltistan under Tax Adaptation Act 2012.

However, the imposition of taxes without granting constitutional rights to people of Gilgit-Baltistan is being strongly resisted in these areas for the last few months.

People stood up to the taxation law when they started being charged income tax, withholding tax and tax on banking transactions etc.

The protests for the past one week show no signs of abating, and there is no constructive dialogue taking place as yet.

Despite harsh weather conditions and a warning by Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman, the people of Gilgit Baltistan have decided to continue their protest until the withdrawal of taxes.

A protester said, “We have earned the support of all citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan who are settled across Pakistan. We are confident that we will be successful and the Prime Minister of Pakistan will bend before our demands.”

Another protester added, “The charged protesters are enough to wake up those politicians who are sound asleep. Imposition of taxes on the people of Gilgit Baltistan is an offense and an act of hooliganism.”



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