Against the indiscriminate hike in wheat prices, the Awami Action Committee is protesting at Shahid Yadgar Chowk in Skardu, POGB. The protest has entered its fourth day today and the Awami Action Committee is demanding the immediate revocation of the increase and the reinstatement of the subsidized price. The protest is getting unprecedented support from people as the protest saw participation from thousands of people.
Fierce protest ahead
For quite some time, the occupying government was planning to increase wheat prices to Rs. 36 per k.g., which the committee warned against by threatening to start a protest. Despite being aware of people’s sentiments, on December 26, the occupying government released a notification regarding the price hike. Since then, thousands of people, under the aegis of the Awami Action Committee, have been protesting against the ignorant establishment in Skardu.
Meanwhile, the committee has also announced widespread protests across Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan from January 1, the same day when the new prices would apply.
As the committee had already warned of protests, the occupying government apparently knew that the protest could turn into a mass movement and hence, beforehand imposed Section 144, banning every type of protest at Karakoram Highway and Baltistan Highway on December 25.
Increase in Wheat Price
The hike in wheat prices has been a bone of contention between the people of Pak-occupied Gilgit Baltistan and their occupying government. Earlier, the price of wheat was Rs. 20 per k.g, which has now been unprecedentedly increased by 80% to Rs. 36 per k.g. The Awami Action Committee, representing the people, has argued that since Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan (POGB) is a disputed territory under the control of Pakistan, it is entitled to receive subsidized wheat and other basic amenities based on UN regulations. The people are enraged to see that while their resources, land, among others, are exploited indiscriminately by Pakistan, they barely reap the fruits of their own resources.
Against this brutal and oppressive regime, Shahid Yadgar Chowk in Skardu is currently echoing the voices of protest, consistently warning Pakistan and its puppet occupying government in the region to refrain from testing the patience of the people.