PPP leader gives 2-month ultimatum to reduce property tax

MARDAN  -  Pakistan People’s Party central leader and former federal minis­ter Nawabzada Khwaja Muham­mad Khan Hoti has issued a stern ultimatum, demanding the Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa government to slash the exorbitant property tax hike within two months. In a news conference at Mardan press club, Khwaja Hoti emphasized the disparity, highlighting that while property tax stands at 3 percent in Punjab and other provinces, it soars to a staggering 23 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, causing im­mense hardship to the province’s residents.

Warning of potential protests, Khwaja Hoti stated that property dealers would join him in taking to the streets if the government fails to act on the issue. He cited a Pe­shawar High Court order aiming to alleviate the burden of proper­ty tax on the public and asserted his advocacy for the underprivi­leged. Should the tax remain un­changed, he pledged to initiate a protest movement within his dis­trict and division after the two-month deadline.

Addressing broader economic concerns, Khwaja Hoti expressed discontent with soaring infla­tion, and escalating electricity and gas prices, making lives unbear­able for the populace. He called for agreements with internation­al bodies like the World Bank, en­suring public welfare rather than imposing inflation and illegitimate taxes. Additionally, he urged the collection of corruption money from the elite rather than burden­ing the public.

Predicting dire consequences if inflation continues unchecked, Khwaja Hoti criticized the trend of appointing selected individuals in government for the past two dec­ades. He asserted that the current provincial and national govern­ments have a limited shelf life and emphasized that economic stabil­ity, not elections, holds the key to resolving people’s problems.

Reiterating his stance on ac­countability, Khwaja Hoti de­manded a transparent inquiry by the army chief into election rig­ging and the acceptance of money, with strict actions against those involved. 

He highlighted the burden of in­creasing debts on the province, questioning the honesty of leader­ship when the entire team is per­ceived as corrupt.

In a call to the public, Khwa­ja Hoti held them equally re­sponsible for the country’s pre­dicament, urging a shift towards choosing competent leaders in­stead of being swayed by symbolic affiliations. He concluded by em­phasizing that the core issue fac­ing the country is not democra­cy but the prevailing economic storm, revealing that he withdrew from election contention when he sensed the advent of PTI.

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