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AJK govt accepts ‘all demands of AAC’ as protesters march towards Muzaffarabad


PM Shehbaz approves Rs23 billion grant on urgent basis to provide relief to people in AJK

AJK PM Chaudhry Anwarul Haq addresses the press conference in Islamabad on May 13, 2024. — Screengrab/Geo News
  • “AJK government had no intentions to disrupt peaceful struggle”.
  • “Peace to be restored after as AJK govt accepts relief demands”.
  • AAC likely to call off protests after issuance of subsidy notifications.

After wheel-jam strike and violent protests against hike in electricity price and taxes entered fourth day, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq has announced that the state government accepted all demands of the Awami Action Committee (AAC).

“No one can reject two fundamental demands regarding cheap roti [bread] and electricity,” PM Anwar said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, adding that PM Shehbaz Sharif assured of his all-out support to address issues of the AJK people.

He clarified that the government had neither intentions to disrupt peaceful struggle of the AJK people nor it would try to impact any such struggle in future.

He said that the government exhibited tolerance and patience despite violations of the law and added that more than 100 policemen were wounded in violent clashes with the protesters, whereas, not a “single marcher was injured”.

Accepting all demands placed by the AAC, the AJK government issued a notification regarding subsidies for power and food commodities. He hoped that peace would be restored in the region after implementation of the much-anticipated notifications.

Terming the subsidies as a Pakistani government’s “special connection” with the region, Anwar said that the top political and military leadership proved its concrete relationship and respect for the AJK people. He announced that Islamabad will provide Rs23 billion funds to the AJK government.

He gave credit to Pakistan’s establishment and the army chief for taking a special interest in resolving the problems of the AJK people.

He further said that the notification will come into effect immediately and it was a permanent arrangement which would be part of forthcoming budget for FY2024-25.

As per the notification, the flour price has been reduced from Rs3,100 to Rs2,000 per 40 kilogram.

Subsequently, electricity prices will be Rs3 per unit for usage between 1-100 units, Rs5 per unit for usage between 100-300 units and Rs6 per unit for the 300-above slab.

Commercial rates of electricity have been fixed at Rs10 per unit for 1-300 unit slab and for 300 or above slab, it has been fixed at Rs15 per unit.

AAC expected to call off protest today

Geo News learnt that the latest notifications would be read out before protesters in Muzaffarabad before calling off the protests today.

Earlier today, the AAC protestors continued to march on Muzaffarabad, refusing to go home despite the approval of a Rs23 billion grant by PM Shehbaz on an urgent basis to resolve issues of people in the AJK.

The development came after violent protests erupted in the AJK on AAC’s call against inflated electricity bills and taxes.

A meeting presided by the PM approved the grant was summoned over unrest in AJK. It was presided by the PM and attended by federal ministers and leaders of the allied parties. It reviewed the developing situation of the territory thoroughly.

The Kashmiri leadership and participants of the meeting thanked the premier for the financial aid.

Meanwhile, AJK Chief Secretary Muhammad Usman Chachar said a deal regarding the AAC’s demands had been reached. He told that internet services in AJK were also restored.

Four days of unrest

The AAC called for a shutter down and wheel-jam strike across the state to protest the electricity price hike and taxes. However, the situation escalated as the protestors and police clashed.

A sub-inspector was killed while dozens other policemen and protesters also got injured during the teargas shelling by the police and stone pelting by the demonstrators.

The violent protesters damaged multiple vehicles, including a magistrate’s car at the Poonch-Kotli road. Moreover, markets, trade centres, offices and schools and restaurants remained closed across the AJK.

The government of AJK called in the Rangers and AJK police after clashes between the police and protestors erupted in Mirpur during demonstrations that killed a cop and injured more than 70 others a couple of days ago.

Police also launched a crackdown against the protesters after the events of violence, arresting dozens of individuals in the AJK capital.

A day earlier, the government also suspended mobile phone and internet services in different parts of AJK including Bhimber and Bagh Towns. Meanwhile, in Mirpur, all the mobile networks and internet service had also been suspended.

Expressing deep concerns over the violent clashes between the AJK police and the protesters, PM Shehbaz on Sunday said that there should be “absolutely no tolerance for taking the law in one’s own hands”.

The premier further said that he had spoken to AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq and also directed all Pakistan Muslim League-N office bearers in AJK to talk to the leaders of the action committee.

“I urge all parties to resort to peaceful course of action for resolution of their demands. Despite best efforts of detractors, the matter will hopefully be settled soon.”



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