Gilgit, April 18: The subsidy on wheat price was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s gift to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. The PPP government cannot deprive the region of the reduced price. Only the federal government can address the issue on restoration of the wheat subsidy. Gilgit-Baltistan does not have the authority to restore the subsidy.
These views have been expressed in a press statement by Gilgit-Baltistan’s Information Minister, Sadia Danish today.
She has said that some “anti-democracy” forces are playing politics in the name of wheat-subsidy, adding that the issue came to the fore after PPP was out of the federal government. She also said that the government respects the democratic right of the people to protest.
It is pertinent to note that according to officials of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan the decision about ending the subsidy had been taken in 2011 when PPP was in power in the center and in Gilgit-Baltistan. The decision, reportedly, had been taken in a meeting attended by Senior Minister Muhammad Jafar, Chief Secretary and the then Secretary Food Syed Hadi. A copy of the signed agreement has been shared on the social media in the past.
Meanwhile, the Awami Action Committee is adamant at continuing the strike which has been going on for the last four days. They have vowed to continue the strike till fulfillment of their demands and acceptance and implementation of the Charter of Demands.