THIS is with reference to your editorial ‘Taxing tobacco’ (June 2). You say, “Most smuggled cigarettes originate from Afghanistan.” This is true not only of cigarettes but also of almost every other thing, including tea and cosmetics.
Goods imported into Afghanistan through Pakistan often never make it across the border, but are removed from containers and sold in our markets. The huge Karkhano Bazaar in Hayatabad, Peshawar, is full of smuggled goods, but the Federal Bureau of Revenue dare not send its inspectors there to recover income tax or sales tax.
Many industries are on the verge of closure owing to the flooding of smuggled goods. Those who indulge in smuggling are wealthy people who own shops in many shopping centres and malls in Karachi and Lahore.
We should examine the Constitution closely to find out if it has a clause which allows unlimited smuggling into the country through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If the country is to be saved, the first thing the government should do is to put a stop to smuggling.
Shakir Lakhani
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2014