In last days shutter-down strike observed in Gilgit-Baltistan against imposition of tax by federal and local government. The protests were lead by Awami Action Committee (AAC) an alliance of different political and religious parties. The chairmain of AAC had announced to move Supreme Court of Pakistan against imposition of tax and vowed to continue protest till withdrawal of withholding tax. The opposition parties all joined hands with the GB’s main traders association to take on the GB government over taxation issues.
So why GB people are protesting against the imposition of tax. The root cause of this taxation system is the self governance order 2009. Let us first discuss the political and constitutional status of Gilgit Baltistan.
Freedom from Dogra Raj of Jammu
Dogras occupied Baltistan in 1846 then Gilgit after few years. In 1935 British leased Gilgit and Hunza and named it Gilgit Agency. While Astore and Baltistan remained part of Dogra. But after the partition of Indo-Pak in 1947 British terminated the lease of Gilgit agency and handed over the area back to Maharaja of Jammu. They declared Gilgit agency, Ladakh and Baltistan as northern province of the state of Jammu Kashmir. Ghansara Singh was appointed as the governor of this province.
Unlike other parts of Pakistan , Gilgit Baltistan got freedom from Dogra Raj of Jammu. On November 1947 the people of Gilgit revolted against Dogra Raj with the help of Gilgit Scouts and established and independent republic namely Islamic State of Gilgit on 1st November 1947. But after 16 days Pakistan took the administration of Gilgit. In 1948 Baltistan also got freedom from Dogra raj. Then FCR imposed and a political agent appointed to control the area.
To be continued…..