Updated January 8th, 2024 at 15:44 IST
Protests escalate across PoK over soaring wheat prices and subsidy removal
Rising wheat prices in PoK triggered widespread protests in Skardu, Ganche, Shigar, and Yasin, citizens demanded subsidy restoration.
Protests in PoK: A surge in wheat prices and the removal of subsidies have sparked massive and continuous protests across various cities in Pakistan-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (PoJK), according to local media reports. Cities including Skardu, Ganche, Shigar, and Yasin have become epicentres of sit-ins, protests, denouncing the steep rise in wheat prices, with protestors declaring a resolute stance until these measures are reversed.
The protesters, guided by diverse ethnix groups from Pakistan's occupied region, persisted in their agitation as demonstrations entered its 12th day.
At the protest site in Yadgar Chowk, leaders such as Chairman of the All Party Alliance Ghulam Hussain Athar, Sheikh Ahmed Tarabi, Najaf Ali, Wazir Hasnain Aqeel, Advocate Ahmed Chau, and Wajid Ahmed Khan asserted their commitment, stating that their next move would target the Chief Minister's House if the wheat price hike persists. Their determination was resolute, highlighting that all options remain open and sacrifices for the protection of people's rights will not be withheld.
"We will not hesitate to make any sacrifice to protect people's rights. Increase in the price of wheat. There is a drone attack on the people her," affirmed the leaders, underlining the severity of the situation.
The leaders also called for an end to the luxury enjoyed by the rulers, warning that the price of wheat might escalate further according to the local reports. The protestors vowed to sustain the sit-in until the price hike is retracted, with a firm belief that their persistence would compel the government to yield.
Meanwhile, the gathering at the sit-in has been steadily increasing, signalling what the protestors claim are the dwindling days of the government. Ganche witnessed fervent protests in the constituency of Provincial Minister Engineer Muhammad Ismail. The protestors underscored that if the rulers do not reverse their decision, the protests will persist.
In different areas of the Masherbrum sub-division, people are protesting following the call of the Awami Action Committee. Hussaini Chowk in Shigar has witnessed eleven consecutive days of protests, with hundreds participating after Friday prayers, vehemently denouncing the government's decision to increase wheat prices and demanding its withdrawal.
Leaders of the People and Awami Action Committee highlighted the government's stubbornness in withdrawing the decision, causing grave concerns among the people. They warned that if the government continues to neglect public outcry, the protest movement will intensify beyond wheat subsidies.
Moreover, in Yasin, the ongoing sit-in regarding wheat subsidies has entered its third day, attracting political and nationalist leaders from various areas who have joined hands with the youth in protest, as reported. The collective resolve of the protestors remains undeterred, signalling a continued struggle until their demands are met.
Published January 7th, 2024 at 08:53 IST