PoK: Students’ federation protests inflated power bills, flour shortage

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Muzaffarabad [PoK], February 12: A massive protest rally was held recently by members of NSF, the National Students Federation in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), against inflated electricity bills, the high price of flour and its shortage in the region.
The protesters said that despite producing around 4,000 megawatts of electricity, they are not given any benefits; instead, they have to face prolonged power cuts and hefty bills.
They are also fed up due to the ongoing wheat crisis.
“Flour is being sold at old rates, i.e., 1600 rupees for 20 kg and 3200 rupees for 40kg. The rates are the same as of June 2022. We have been holding our protest movement since June 2023. But the rates of electricity and flour have remained consistent,” a protester, Zulfiqar Baig, said.
The demonstrators blamed the apathetic attitude of the Pakistani government and the state authorities in the region for worsening the condition.
“We are protesting for cheaper flour and electricity. The government had asked us for one month’s time while claiming that they would resolve this issue and provide cheaper flour and subsidies on electricity. If they do not do it soon, we are ready with our next plan of action,” added Zulfiqar.
Locals in PoK say that they are being forced to bear the brunt of Pakistan’s economic crisis in the form of a hike in taxes and a shortage of essential commodities, and they see no relief in the near future.
For decades, the people of PoK have been facing difficulties. They have never been granted the rights they deserve, as successive governments in Islamabad have continued to treat them unfairly.
The people of Gilgit-Baltistan are facing the same issues. In such troublesome circumstances, the opening of the Skardu-Kargil road has been demanded by the people of Gilgit Baltistan, who feel that it is the only way to lessen the darkness in their lives.
Pakistan’s misguided policies over the years have left the country in a difficult situation.
The startling aspect of the entire tale, though, is that Pakistan is still unwilling to own up to its mistakes.

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