Voice of the People


Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Anti-Qaddafi slander campaign

In this tit-for-tat squabble, involving PTI and PDM coalition partners, in the aftermath of ECP decision, implicating the former in foreign/prohibited funding case, what is not understandable is the campaign implicating Qaddafi in political funding etc. While the American campaign against Qaddafi aided and abetted by a few Pakistan-origin US nationals, who having taken Oath of Allegiance are bound by Patriot Act to serve American national security interest, this slander campaign by members of a Pakistani political party is regrettable and condemnable.

Those who having taken Oath of American Citizenship have made their choice and proudly proclaim that their sons and daughters serve in American armed forces, because the Oath bounds them to serve. The least that is expected of them is (unless they are forced by the oath) is to allow Pakistan and its citizens to decide their own fate and preserve their state sovereignty by attaining economic self-sufficiency.

It is an established fact that after 1971 debacle both Qaddafi and Shah Faisal were involved in funding and aiding Pakistan’s nuclear defence deterrence capability initiated by ZAB. It is also a tragedy how all three of them died tragically because they had defied powerful superpowers. At least Pakistanis must not be involved in this slander campaign.

The vast majority of our expatriates are hardworking, skilled and semi-skilled professionals, who were denied opportunities in this country and were forced to migrate or work abroad and support their kith and kin through remittances. It is just a few who are scions of the privileged elite, who after benefitting from Pakistan and having sold all their subsidized real estate assets allotted to their parents, and shifted their money to their adopted country, now want to continue to have more of the same.



ECP’s verdict

The ECP’s damaging judgement held PTI chief Imran Khan responsible for violating Pakistan’s laws while collecting party funds from foreign nationals and foreign-based companies. The ECP’s verdict exposed his claims of adherence to law, honesty and integrity. The coalition government has sent a reference to the ECP seeking the PTI Chairman’s disqualification for failure to mention the amount received by him after selling Toshakhana gifts in his tax returns.

Meanwhile, the FIA is questioning employees of the party’s central secretariat who were allowed to receive funds from within Pakistan and abroad in their personal accounts. The PTI chief excited his followers to turn out to back him in his agitation/fight. The problems he faces cannot be resolved by fiery speeches delivered in public gatherings. The judiciary and the military establishment have already rejected Imran Khan’s narrative of his government’s fall being an outcome of a foreign conspiracy.

Now he is confronting the ECP which accuses him of blatant disregard of the country’s laws while the government has approached the ECP seeking IK’s disqualification under Article 62 (1) (f) of the Constitution for hiding his income from the sale of Toshakhana gifts. What can save Imran Khan is sound legal defence. Khan needs to realize that Pakistan’s Penal Code does not have separate laws for celebrities, be they actors, models, sportsmen or politicians.



Property taxes and estate agents

Property Tax is levied and collected under Sindh Urban Immovable Property Tax Act, 1958 and Pakistan Finance Act 2017. According to these Acts, a uniform rate of tax is levied on all categories of properties @ 25% of annual rental value (ARV). The taxes such as Capital Gain Tax, (CGT), Capital Value Tax (CVT), Stamp Duty, Withholding Tax or Advance Tax have to be paid by the purchaser and seller of the property, whether it is residential, industrial or commercial nature of property.

The dilemma is not over here the purchaser and seller of the property would also bear registration fee and 2pc commission to the Estate Agents. It looks great for the state national exchequer gets a huge amount of taxation in this context from both the seller and the purchaser.

In this whole process, one clever person “the Estate Agent” clearly gets away who never pays a single penny to the government evading millions of rupees in taxes while getting millions in the phase of commission from the two parties. I strongly request the authorities concerned to get them under a legislation and immediately bring them in the tax-net for the betterment of the country’s economy.



Freelancers’ woes

Though shocking following the education system and other things, Pakistan ranks fourth in the freelance marketplace where hundreds of thousands of individuals generate money in the dollar economy. Despite a considerable portion of the country helping Pakistan uplift its economy, the Pakistani government is reluctant to provide relief to them and make their way less bumpy. The freelancing community needs attention the most since if dollars are earned by them, the rupee against the dollar would appreciate succinctly. In addition, the country also needs to uplift governmental platforms like Digiskills for the sustainable development of the freelancing community.

The very cause of devaluation of the rupee is the dwindling dollar earning, once the free and fair way is provided to the freelancers, undoubtedly, the rupee gets robust in the blink of an eye, and it is not hearsay, but a well-researched declaration by the economists world widely. Hence, the woes of the freelancers should be a wake-up call for the government to take measures promptly.

The real cause behind the Freelancers’ woes is that there is no easy way out to receive their dollars owing to dysfunctional payment process. Another headache is the high taxes on their earnings. No doubt, in this digital era, if a nation runs over time, would succeed on all fronts. Henceforth, like the previous PTI-led government, this coalition government also step in for freelancers to help the country to counter the economic crisis in the country. Otherwise, the drained, gutted and gloomy clouds of the economic crisis are waiting to loom large over the already fragile state of the economic front of the country.



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