United Front Against Superssion – Awami Action Committee of Gilgit-Baltistan

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GILGIT: Protests against the withdrawal of wheat subsidy continued in Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday, with negotiations between the GB government and leaders of the Awami Action Committee (AAC) making no headway. An alliance of 22 religious and political parties continued their protests against the withdrawal of the subsidy in all the district headquarters, including regional capital Gilgit.

Protesters have been holding sit-ins on key roads, causing inconvenience to travellers and paralysing routine life in Gilgit, Skardu, Ghizer and Hunza.

Because of the protests, attendance in government and private offices has remained thin. Business activities have also remained suspended.

The AAC has pledged to continue the protests until the acceptance of their demands. The committee has told the authorities that it will not call off the protests until a notification on the matter is issued.

However, the AAC appealed to the public on Friday to end a shutter-down strike but announced that sit-ins would continue. Meanwhile speaking to the protesters in Gilgit on Friday, AAC convener Ehsan Ali said the committee’s negotiations did not bear any fruit as only three of their nine demands had so far been discussed.

The chief minister and his cabinet colleagues did not want to solve the issues, he said.

“The government team initially told us that the issue of wheat subsidy involved the federal government and the chief minister had no authority to withdraw the decision,” he said. He said that four days ago the CM committed that a summary would be sent to the federal government recommending that the price of wheat be maintained at Rs8 per kg and also to solve the problem of loadshedding.

“In view of the chief minister’s promises we called off our protest. “But, even after four days the CM has failed to float the summary and no notification for health fees and loadshedding has been issued.” Source

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