PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary’s latest notification pertained to ending collection of all types of Rahdaarees, import and export taxes and levies by political administration of tribal agencies and regions, fuelled unrest amongst the tribesmen and it enabled the tribal elders opposing FATA merger in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of exploiting the situation in their favour.
The chief secretary KP on Friday issued a notification, directing additional chief secretary FATA, all divisional commissioners and all deputy commissioners (political agents), asking them to stop collecting of all types of taxes. In this respect, the chief secretary through same notification directed the local administration to ensure that no person or agency collects any type of tax, levy or fee anywhere in its respective jurisdiction other them what a national law allows.
Similarly, he has also ordered stopping of all expenditures from the agency funds and added that all necessary expenditures shall only be allowed with the prior approval of additional chief secretary FATA. And the officer ordered the removal of all check posts for the collection of collection of taxes and levies. However, the chief secretary added that the packages being given to Tribal Maliks (elders) would continue as usual.
In the light of the order, check posts of civil administration in different parts of tribal areas are now being removed. Traders and transporters in Khyber Agency confirmed that check posts between Peshawar’s Hayatabad and Torkham now ceasing its functions.
A number of tribal elders from Khyber Agency, however, called an emergency press conference on Saturday morning where they denounced chief secretary’s order regarding ending of taxes and levies collections on check posts by the political (civil) administration. Malik Salah Ud Din Afridi a leading elder from the agency was among the tribal elder who also condemned the new decision.
Talking to this correspondent, Malik Salah Ud Din said the Agency Development Fund is being used as salaries of personnel of Khasadar Forces, stipends for students, the welfare of patients and other poor people. He said that it could cause severe hardships to tribesmen.
“Earlier, the tribesmen were not consulted in the merger of FATA-KP and now in banning of collection and releases from the agency funds,” he said.
In response to a question, Malik said that until the announcement of an alternate system of welfare and development funds, there is no justification to stop collection and release of agency development funds. “It could be hard for around 28,000 personnel of Khasadar Forces to perform their responsibilities,” he added.
Couple of days back, hundreds of Khasadar forces personnel from North Waziristan staged a demonstration in Miranshah and Bannu to ensure continuity of Khasadar system after the FATA-KP merger.
According to KP government’s notification, the previous British colonial rulers’ introduced offices of political and assistant political agents converted into offices of Deputy and Assistant Commissioners from Saturday.