Gahkuch: The protest rally against wheat subsidy cut, set off from Yasin on February 15, towards Gilgit, has finally come to an end after formal assurances by a provincial minister on Thursday.
A protest rally of more than 15000 thousand people, headed by Raja Jahanzaib, a local politician of Yasin, was arrived at Gahkuch on Wendnesday night after traveling 70 km, demanding the government to reverse the increase in the price of wheat. A large protest demonstration was held in the district headquarters, which was joined by the people from Puyal, Ishhqamen, Gupech and other adjoining villages of district Ghizar. Several political leaders and social activists criticized the government for price hike and corruptions and nepotism.Raja Jahanzaib Khan and Karim Ahmed of PML N, Dr. Mastan Shah of PML Q, Shah Zahir advocate of MQM, Qayum Khan of BNF (H), leader and former chairman municipal committee Hashim Khan, social worker Muhammad Yonous, Shah Muslim, Bakhtawar Shah, Rehmat Aman, Ashraf Khan and Raja Saboor delivered speeches.
As the rally was set to proceed towards Gilgit, a representative of GB cabinet, Muhammad Nasir arrived at Gahkuch and assured the protesters to make efforts at the assembly level, at large. He said “the recent wave of price hike was the result of increase in transport fares, on which we all are concerned. The government can not even imagine decreasing the subsidy, by intensifying the plight of people, already suffering in such a tough economic situation”. Muhammad Nasir, the provincial minister of excise and taxation, said that “the matter will be taken in the upcoming session of Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly, which to due to be start from February 22, and he will personally move resolution to increase the subsidy by Rs. 3 per kg on wheat”. He assured the protesters to inform about the outcome of house efforts by February 25.
Meanwhile, a 25 member committee was constituted comprising representatives of all four tehsils of Ghizar. The committee has convened its first meeting in Gahkuch on February 25. It will formulate the future strategy in case the govenmnet fails to come up with the solutions, promised by cabinet representative.