Infostani International: The Gilgit-Baltistan government has reversed its decision to raise wheat prices, maintaining the previous rates. Home Minister Shams Lone made the announcement, easing tensions and ending month-long protests in Skardu and Nagar. Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan’s committee will now address grievances and propose solutions, reflecting the government’s response to widespread opposition to subsidized wheat price hikes in the region.
Wheat Price Reversal in Gilgit-Baltistan: Government’s U-Turn Eases Protests, Committee Formed to Address Grievances
Home Minister Shams Lone declared on Tuesday that wheat will continue to be available in Gilgit-Baltistan at previous rates, as the government reversed its decision to raise prices. The announcement followed a month-long protest against the government’s initial move to increase commodity rates, leading to the cancellation of protests in Skardu and Nagar.
A notification from the CM Secretariat revealed that Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan formed a six-member committee to address grievances, including Senior Minister Ghulam Muhammad, Planning and Development Minister Muhammad Ismail, Excise and Taxation Minister Haji Rehmat Khaliq, Law Minister Sohail Abbas, Home Minister Shams Lone, and Education Minister Shehzad Agha.
Protests Persist Despite Government’s Reversal on Wheat Price Hikes in Gilgit-Baltistan
The committee aims to present demands and proposals to Islamabad based on input from regional politicians, businessmen, religious figures, and social activists. Despite the decision, a significant number of people gathered at Gilgit’s Ettihad Chowk to join the protest against subsidized wheat price hikes led by the Awami Action Committee.
Protesters from Ghizer district, led by G-B Assembly member Nawaz Khan Naji, joined the campaign, pledging not to compromise on the interests of Gilgit-Baltistan residents. Demonstrations in Chilas, the district headquarters of Diamer district, resulted in the blocking of the Karakoram Highway, leading to traffic suspension for several hours. The protesters called for population-based criteria for allocating quotas of subsidized wheat to different districts in Gilgit-Baltistan.