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An open letter to Gilgit-Baltistan chief secretary

Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Secretary Babar Hayat Tarar recently snubbed a citizen for requesting the facility of Gynecologist at the District Headquarter Hospital in Khaplu Valley of Ghanche District.

In the viral video, The chief secretary can be seen asking the man if he or anyone in G-B pays a single rupee in tax.

The person tells the chief secretary that G-B is a tax free zone and they are not liable to tax due to their disputed status and lack of representation in the federal legislative institutions.

Babar Hayat reinforces that G-B is a not a disputed territory and the Government of Pakistan allocates 100 billion rupee budget every year.

Now here is some information for the respected chief secretary.

First of all, the people of G-B pay all the taxes against the commodities, which they use in their daily routines as equal to a citizen living in Punjab or Sindh, while all the civil servants of G-B also pay income tax.

The only tax a common citizen in G-B is not paying is indirect taxes for the local business firms and property tax.

Despite being not entitled to any tax according to the Constitution of Pakistan’s 1973, Article 77 they are already paying the direct taxes.

But the rest of the tax like property tax and taxes on local business is also going to be implementing in the coming five years according to the controversial governance order, GB Order 2018 and until then GB has been given exemption from all the indirect taxes.

It is pertinent to note here that it is not the people of G-B who are escaping the tax but it is the constitution of Pakistan which makes the region a tax free zone, due to its no representation in the federal legislature.

The people of G-B are ready to pay as much taxes as any other citizen of Pakistan is liable to pay if given due representation in the Parliament of Pakistan.

The chief secretary, being a responsible officer, should not give lame reasons to cover up his failure in providing the basic health facilities to the people of the region.

Death of women during labor has become so common in Ghanche that the people have now become hopeless from the provincial administration.

Is the life of a human being so cheap that it should be lost due to lack of basic health facilities promised by the Constitution of Pakistan.

The statement of the chief secretary has been highly condemned on social media and the local populace thinks it is being insulted against a genuine demand of proper health facilities.

Last but not the least, Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed territory according to United Nation resolutions and is still under representation despite the state of Pakistan holding utmost administrative authority.

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