Protest turns violent despite government subsidy announcement in Pakistan

Protest turns violent despite government subsidy announcement in Pakistan

Violent clashes erupted in Pakistan, resulting in three deaths and six injuries, despite the government’s announcement of a Rs23 billion subsidy to address protesters’ demands.

The incident took place at Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) on May 13.

Visuals showed chaos reigned as police and protesters darted between one another on the road, aiming to injure their adversaries.

Despite the government’s efforts to quell unrest with a substantial subsidy package, Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), descended into chaos as violent clashes left three dead and six injured. The subsidy, totaling Rs23 billion, was approved by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and AJK PM Anwarul Haq in response to escalating protests in the region.

The subsidy aimed to address grievances regarding power and wheat prices. It included a significant reduction in the price of flour, with 40kg now priced at Rs2,000, down from Rs3,100, and a decrease in electricity tariffs to Rs3, Rs5, and Rs6 per unit for varying consumption levels.

However, tensions flared when paramilitary Rangers, deployed to restore order, attempted to exit the region following the subsidy announcement. Their departure was met with resistance, culminating in clashes marked by teargas and gunfire.

Despite negotiations and subsidy announcements, protesters remained undeterred, with rallies converging on the capital from various parts of AJK. In response to the violence, the AJK government issued notifications implementing the subsidy measures, but the unrest persisted.

As the situation escalated, AJK PM Chaudhry Anwarul Haq expressed gratitude for the swift relief package but acknowledged the ongoing tension. He assured that the relief measures would be incorporated into the next budget, emphasizing their significance in addressing long standing grievances.

However, despite the government’s assurances, the violence underscored the deep-seated frustrations within AJK, with residents expressing anger and indignation over the killings and perceived governmental inaction. As the region grapples with the aftermath of the violent protests, concerns linger regarding the efficacy of subsidies in quelling unrest and addressing underlying grievances.


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