Existence in Gilgit-Baltistan in PoK halts with total closure down, extensive rallies against grain cost surge

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Massive Protests Strike Gilgit-Baltistan Over Rising Wheat Prices

The tranquil life in Gilgit-Baltistan, located in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), has been disrupted with widespread protests holding people’s daily routines hostage. Residents have risen up against the recent surge in subsidized wheat prices and other concerns. This information comes directly from our source at Reader Wall.

Imposing a Standstill

Rallies and demonstrations have swept across all districts of Gilgit-Baltistan, bringing traffic to a halt. In regions like Gilgit, Skardu, Diamer, Ghizer, Astore, Shighar, Ghanche, Kharmang, Hunza and Nagar, businesses and establishments stayed shut on Friday. The previously bustling shopping areas, markets, eateries, and trading centers lay vacant and silent.

Origin of the Strike Request

The Awami Action Committee (AAC) instigated the strike after discussions with associations representative of local traders, transporters, and hotel owners. This movement marks the next stage in the ongoing protests against the government’s decision to raise the prices of subsidized wheat.

Turbulences in Communication

Adding fuel to the flame, it’s been reported that Special Communications Organization, the principal telecommunication provider in PoK, has terminated internet services in the protest-ridden Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Land Ownership Issues

Gilgit-Baltistan’s land ownership issues also came into focus during the protests. Attention was drawn to the fact that this region is the only one in Pakistan where the inhabitants don’t have ownership of their lands.

Protests Impact on Daily Life

The various protests put a damper on daily life, affecting the turnout at private and government offices and educational institutions due to transport shortage. This circumstance has also made it challenging for residents to buy basic necessities and travel.

Upcoming Marches and Rallies

The AAC has also announced plans for marches from different parts of the region towards Gilgit and Skardu.

Protestors’ Voices

In a recent demonstration, speakers condemned the decision of the Gilgit-Baltistan government to raise the subsidies on wheat prices. The speakers, who gathered at Siddiq Akbar Chowk in Chilas, held the chief minister accountable for the price hike.

Threats of Escalation

If their demands are not met, the protestors have warned of potential blockades along the Karakoram Highway. Major demonstrations took place in cities across the region, with thousands of people rallying for their rights.

Meeting of the High Powers

In the midst of these mounting protests, GB Governor Syed Mehdi Shah met with President Arif Alvi to discuss the wheat subsidies and the disturbing situation in the region. The result of this meeting creates a hopeful possibility for resolution soon.

All the information in this report was gathered directly from our trusted source, Reader Wall.

John Kerry

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