POGB women block Karakoram Highway in protest over frequent power cuts & wheat flour crisis

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protest in POGB
Women protestors blocked Karakoram Highway (Photo: X)

Women in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan (POGB) are taking to the streets to protest against prolonged power outages and the wheat crisis, blocking the Karakoram Highway as part of their demonstration.

This protest represents the ongoing struggle of the people of POGB for access to wheat flour and consistent electricity supply. Despite the region’s potential to generate electricity for a significant portion of Pakistan, it continues to face severe shortages and load shedding. This is primarily due to the electricity generated being transmitted to Pakistan and then sold back to the region at high prices, leading to massive power cuts.

The POGB Awami Action Committee initiated a months-long protest against the removal of wheat flour subsidies, load shedding, and the Revenue Act, among other grievances. These demands were compiled in a Charter of Demands and presented to the occupying government. After numerous rounds of negotiations, some of the demands were partially met, leading to the conclusion of the prolonged protest at Ittehad Chowk, Gilgit.

However, despite the partial concessions, there has been little progress made by the puppet government in POGB to address the broader concerns of the people. While there was a temporary reduction in wheat prices following multiple increases, the underlying issues persist.

Now, with the problems still unresolved, the people of POGB, especially women, are taking to the streets once again in protest. The recent demonstration on the Karakoram Highway is likely just the beginning, with more protests expected in the days to come.

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