PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has summoned the Khyber Agency political agent to reply to allegations of collecting ‘passing tax’ from vehicles carrying goods to tribal areas and Afghanistan. The PHC division bench, comprising Justice Meftahuddin and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, was informed by petitioner Shahid Orakzai that Political Agent Mutahir Zeb had allegedly been collecting the tax locally called rahdari. He informed the bench that heavy vehicles were charged Rs15,000, while small trucks paid Rs8,000 to go to tribal areas. The vehicles also have to pay the tax on their return journey. Orakzai hinted the administration’s involvement and said that no notice had been taken on the matter so far. He added all drivers using the route were forced to pay the full amount, especially in Jamrud in tehsil Bara. The bench issued a notice to the political agent and summoned him in court on October 16.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2012.