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Wheat subsidy: ‘Govt to be blamed for any trouble during today’s strike’

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GILGIT:If any untoward incident occurs during Monday’s (today) shutter-down strike in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), the regional government will be responsible for it, said advocate Ehsan Ali, the chairman of the Awami Action Committee (AAC) on Sunday.

HunzaNews March 10th, 2014.

ACC, an alliance of 23 religious and political parties, has called for a region-wide strike on Monday in an attempt to pressure the government to restore the subsidy on the wheat quota for G-B.

“If there is any disturbance on the day of strike, it will be assumed the government is behind it,” Ali told reporters in Gilgit on Monday.

“We aren’t begging for charity. We are struggling for our right,” he said, referring to the subsidy that was given by former premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in view of poverty in G-B.

The ACC chairman claimed the movement is backed by top clerics, nationalists and other parties and added the strike will continue till their demands are accepted.

“We are hopeful there will be a complete strike in all parts of G-B tomorrow and the government will be forced to restore the subsidy under which a 40-kg bag of wheat cost Rs530 in the local market till last year.” The bag now cost more than Rs800 in the local market.

In its nine-point charter of demands, the ACC has demanded the provision of round-the-clock electricity, merit-based appointments in government departments, withdrawal of patient fees at government hospitals, and the settlement of Diamer and Shandur boundary issues with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The committee has also called for an end to the ban on the transportation of minerals in the region.

The parties and groups which form 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, Balawaristan National Front, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pasban-e-Haqooq Ahle Sunnat, among others.

The Express

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