Hunza News

Call for ‘grand strike’: G-B crosses sectarian divide over wheat subsidy

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GILGIT: The demand to restore the wheat subsidy in Gilgit – Baltistan (G-B) has gained currency in the region as a “grand shutter-down strike” announced by the Awami Action Committee (ACC), a group of around 23 parties, draws near. It has also helped differing sects cross a tricky divide to come together for the region’s common good.

HunzaNews  March 8th, 2014.

The ACC has called for a complete shutter down strike in G-B on March 10 to press the government into accepting their demands.

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In view of G-B being under developed, former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto introduced subsidised wheat for the region. The facility continued unabated for decades regardless of which party came into power but has recently been withdrawn by the authorities. A 40 kilogramme (kg) bag of wheat which used to cost Rs530 in 2013 now costs Rs840.

“The response from the public is overwhelming and we hope to achieve our objective,” Wajahat Ali, a coordinator of the committee, told The Express Tribune. “There is a general realisation that the region’s sectarian divide has cost us considerably over the decades and it is time we stand united for a common cause.”

It is good to see clerics from rival sects discussing common problems during meetings, Wajahat shared. The AAC leadership is in contact with stakeholders across G-B, and various parties, unions and individuals continue to lend support to the committee to make the movement a success, he added.

“We regularly hold meetings to ensure members representing various sects and parties are on the same page and are not misled,” said AAC Chairman Ehsan Ali.

“This way we try to remove the communication gap between our members to make the movement a success.”

The parties and groups part of the AAC include the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Anjuman-e-Imamia, Shia Ulema Council, Tanzeem Haqooq Sunnah, Inqilabi Socialist Party, Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen, Progressive Youth Front, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Balawaristan National Front, among others.


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