After months of keeping silence over the wheat price protest in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan (POGB), the opposition leader in the POGB’s puppet assembly has vocally criticized the abolition of wheat price subsidy. Muhammad Kazim Maisam, the leader of Majlis Wahadat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) also castigated Pakistan over the political and constitutional status of POGB.
In his statement, opposition leader Maisam highlighted the differentiation and alienation that POGB faced at the hands of Pakistan. He said, “Neither Gilgit Baltistan has representation in National Assembly nor in Senate. Gilgit Baltistan is neither the part of NFC award nor it is getting any facilities similar to citizens of Pakistan.”
Notably seven decades ago, Pakistan with its propagandas manipulated the minds of POGB people. Luring them by the dream of independence, Pakistan illegally occupied POGB and detached the region with its people from their righteous place in India. Since the region was disputed, Pakistan never did the accession to be politically correct. In fact, Pakistan exploited this political uncertainty of the region to squeeze out the resources, without assuming the responsibility of its people. On the other hand, it fueled the accession movement from the inside of POGB. Accordingly, Pakistan kept reaping the fruits from others misery, until the native people started getting aware.
Now, when the people are at the receiving end of this malicious policy of Pakistan, they are becoming aware of the Pakistani deception.
Ongoing protest in POGB
Nonetheless, Maisam also highlighted the betrayal of Pakistan. He said, “The only movement in the world that is going on for the accession was Gilgit Baltistan. But PDM faction (a political coalition of PPP, PML-N and others), I thank you for carrying on the undemocratic practices like POJK and Pakistan.” MWM leader also underscored Pakistan’s interference in political system of POGB by mentioning Shahbaz Shareef’s monitoring of regime change operation in POGB.
Moreover, Maisam stated that thousands of people of POGB are on the streets because they have some issues. They are hurling slogans in favour of their demands. Despite these strong protests by the people in chilling winters, there has been no redressal.
Considerably, after the abolition of subsidy on wheat prices and the imposition of higher taxes using the Finance Act 2023, people across POGB hit out on the streets. In the bone chilling winter with a temperature as low as -5o, the women and children left their homes to protest against increased wheat prices. This speaks volume about the subversion that the people of POGB are facing.
However, Maisam’s statement comes a couple of days after the Gilgit Baltistan United Movement (GBUM) chief lambasted the local leaders for not voicing in favour of the people. He warned that those who would not align with the righteous demands of people would be considered as traitors.