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Unnecessary Tax Collection Abolished At Check Posts On Pak-Afghan Highway

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PESHAWAR: People of the erstwhile tribal areas lauded Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan for directing authorities to abolish check posts and illegal tax collection on Pak-Afghan National Highway.

Security check posts were established on all routes in the tribal districts to maintain peace in the region. The security forces have started reshuffling personnel along with developing a new policy to maintain check and balance at the Pak-Afghan border, the local administration informed.

In Khyber district, two check posts at Takhta Baig and Torkham area would remain functional, while unnecessary check posts like Mechini, Charwazgai, Ziaray and Prang Sang would be removed.

The PM had earlier directed the officials concerned to ensure that illegal tax or any other kind of illegal payment was not received at any security check post in the area.

Local sources informed Naya Daur that Agency Development Fund has been abolished after the merger of the tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The days of illegal tax collection and other such payments have effectively ended in the former tribal districts, they added.

It is expected that the charge of essential check points would soon be handed over to the National Logistics Cell (NLC) and customs authorities.

Removal of unnecessary check posts has been a long-standing demand of the tribal people to which the government has finally agreed.

Further, tribal people told Naya Daur that the government has been working to ensure that no illegal tax was being collected by any person at any check post in the tribal areas.

It merits mention here that the government’s directives have been applied on Pak-Afghan trade taking place through Chaman border in Balochistan and Ghulam Khan border in Waziristan. The same rules would also apply on routes leading to Kharlachi check post situated on the Pak-Iran border.

Meanwhile, preparations have been finalised for the expected visit of PM Khan to Torkham border on Sunday (tomorrow). KP Chief Minister (CM) Mehmood Khan would also be present on the occasion along with some cabinet members belonging to the federal government.

The KP government has allotted more than Rs70 million for upgradation purposes and for providing facilities at Torkham border following the PM’s announcement of facilitating trade with Afghanistan.

During his visit to Torkham, the prime minister would formally inaugurate the 24/7 service under which the border would be kept open round the clock to promote Pak-Afghan trade and people-to-people contact.

Moreover, the district administration said that Landikotal and Torkham bazaars would remain closed on Sunday as part of security measures ahead of Khan’s visit.

Traffic on the Pak-Afghan highway has already been suspended on Friday to ensure security in the area. Additional security personnel have also been deployed at the Pak-Afghan highway and Torkham border.

Customs clearance of transit goods would also remain suspended ahead of PM Khan’s visit.

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