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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Prime Minister Approves Rs23 Billion for AJK after Violent Protests

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approves Rs23 billion aid amidst violent protests in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, urging restraint and dialogue for a peaceful resolution.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved the immediate provision of Rs23 billion to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) amid violent protests in the region. The decision was made in a special meeting chaired by the prime minister in Islamabad, which was attended by top political leadership and AJK officials.

The move comes after several days of violent clashes between police and activists in AJK, triggered by protests against an increase in electricity tariffs. The protests resulted in the death of at least one police official and injuries to over 90 individuals. A complete strike has been observed in the territory, bringing routine life to a standstill.

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Following the meeting chaired by the prime minister, AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq announced a reduction in electricity tariffs, addressing one of the key demands of the protestors. The new tariff rates, outlined in a notification issued by the AJK energy department, aim to provide relief to consumers. Additionally, the AJK government also reduced bread prices to alleviate the burden on the residents.

Calls for Restraint and Resolution

Amidst the ongoing protests, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have urged all stakeholders to exercise restraint and resolve the issues through dialogue and mutual consultation. President Zardari emphasized addressing the demands of the people of AJK in accordance with the law, highlighting the need for responsible actions from political parties and state institutions.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep concern over the situation in AJK and called for a peaceful course of action to address the demands of the protestors. Despite challenges, both leaders remain optimistic about the resolution of the issues and the restoration of peace in the region.

Protests Continue

However, the protest movement led by the Azad Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC) persists, with demonstrators demanding reduced electricity tariffs, subsidized wheat flour, and an end to elite privileges. The committee’s march in Muzaffarabad resumed after unsuccessful negotiations with the AJK government, indicating a continuation of the protest until their demands are met. Despite arrests and clashes with police, the protestors remain steadfast in their pursuit of justice.

As the situation unfolds, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has summoned an emergency meeting in Islamabad to address the escalating tensions in AJK. With representatives from the state government and interior ministry present, the government seeks to find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing crisis and restore stability in the region.