Denial of wheat subsidy to Gilgit-Baltistan sparks off Pakistan-wide protest rallies

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Gilgit-Baltistan-Protest-Hunzanews.2013People of Gilgit-Baltistan and their supporters across Pakistan staged protest rallies on Tuesday to protest against the withdrawal of wheat subsidy and other problems created for them by the PMLN-led government of Pakistan and PPP-led government of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The G-B is the area that is situated on Pakistan’s borders with India and China and is of utmost strategic importance for Pakistan. People of Gilgit-Baltistan chose to annex their homeland with Pakistan and under that agreement Pakistani government was bound to grant them subsidies and top of them was wheat subsidy.  
Residents of Gilgit-Baltistan, a Shia majority province, have formed an Awami Action Committee under that they have begun a protest movement and on their call a complete shutter-down strike was observed on Tuesday. Even the residents of Chilas, who had adopted a unilateral acrimonious mindset for Shia majority, buried their hatred and joined the protest.

Allama Raja Nasir Abbas Jafari, head of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, leading Shia party that is part of the Awami Action Committee, called for Pakistan-wide protest to express solidarity with oppressed people of the G-B.

“Gilgit-Baltistan provides water to the whole of Pakistan. The cheapest electricity is generated by the water of Gilgit-Baltistan but PMLN and PPP have joined hands to rob people of this favour-doing area of their legitimate rights,” said Allama Mukhtar Imami, secretary general of the MWM Sindh chapter speaking to the protestors.

Hassan Hashmi, MWM Karachi chapter’s chief said that Sunni and Shia Muslims were aware of the plots being hatched against them and they may resort to countrywide protest movement if the legitimate rights were denied to people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The protestors raised slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and G-B’s chief minister Syed Mehdi Shah for their unjust and discriminatory policies against the G-B’s people. They demanded PPP’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and co-chairman Asif Zardari to take notice of injustices being done by their PPP government in the G-B.

Carrying banners and placards, the demonstrators chanted down with the PPP and shame on PPP government in Gilgit-Baltistan. They warned that Zardaris and their party too would be deemed responsible and abettors in the crimes of federal and GB governments if they failed to take action against them.

On the other hand, Shaikh Shahadat Hussain Sajidi, a leader of Shia Ulema Council and a leading figure of the Awami Action Committee urged the government to meet all demands put to them in Charter of Demands.

MWM, SUC and G-B locals have demanded that non-locals should neither be appointed on government-private jobs nor be award contracts of natural resources of Gilgit-Baltistan.

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