PoK Protest / PM Shahbaz Sharif baffled by 4-day strike, gave a package of Rs 23 billion to handle the situation

Vikrant Shekhawat : May 14, 2024, 08:19 AM
PoK Protest: The complete strike launched in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) against high prices of wheat flour, electricity and high taxes continued for the fourth day on Monday, prompting the country's government to end the growing unrest in the region. To do this, Rs 23 billion had to be allocated immediately. Clashes broke out between police and human rights activists in the disputed area on Saturday, leaving at least one police officer dead and more than 100 people injured. Most of the injured were policemen. Life came to a standstill due to the complete strike on Friday.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was "deeply concerned" about the situation. He approved on Monday the immediate provision of Rs 23 billion for the region, after the standoff between protesters and the regional government ended. Concerned over the unexpected protests and its sensitivity, Prime Minister Sharif chaired a special meeting here on Monday which was attended by PoK "Prime Minister" Chaudhry Anwarul Haq, local ministers and top political leadership, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement. . The statement said Prime Minister Sharif approved an immediate grant of Rs 23 billion to solve the problems of the people of PoK.

Electricity rates also had to be cut in PoK

The PMO said that Kashmir leaders and all the participants appreciated Shehbaz's decision. PoK's "Prime Minister" Chaudhary Anwar-ul-Haq announced the cut in electricity tariffs immediately after the meeting chaired by Sharif. Haq said residents have been demanding cheaper electricity and flour subsidy for the past few days. He said that no one can ignore the need for accessible electricity and affordable bread. He also announced a cut in the prices of bread. Members of the Jammu and Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC) are demanding fixing of electricity prices as per the cost of hydropower generation in the region, end of subsidy on wheat flour and privileges of the elite class.

Protestors marched towards Muzaffarabad

Under the leadership of JAAC, a long march was taken out in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). After no solution was found in talks between the JAAC Core Committee and area Chief Secretary Dawood Barach, the protesters announced to march towards Muzaffarabad. A protest leader from Rawalakot accused the government of adopting evasive tactics. According to the news published in Pakistani newspaper Dawn, the protesters have already closed the Kohala-Muzaffarabad road at many places and are sitting on strike there. It was reported in the news that a large number of police forces have been deployed at intersections and sensitive places. Markets, business centers and educational institutions are closed, while transport services are at a standstill. The so-called government had called Rangers after there was a clash between police and protesters in Mirpur on Saturday.

Had to appeal to the President

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari urged all stakeholders to exercise restraint and resolve issues through dialogue and mutual consultation. He stressed that political parties, state institutions and the people of the region should act responsibly so that opponents cannot exploit the situation to their advantage. The President also said that the demands of the people of the area should be met as per the law. He said he would discuss these issues with Prime Minister Sharif to find a way out of the current situation. The President expressed regret at the current situation. He expressed grief over the unfortunate death of the police officer and prayed for the speedy recovery of all those injured in the clashes.