The Awami National Committee (AMC) will hold a huge protest on December 15, 2023, against the Chilas terror attack, high inflation coupled with rising wheat and flour crises in Gilgit Baltistan.
There is anger and resentment among the people of Gilgit Baltistan, as at least 10 people were killed and 21 passengers were wounded on December 2 when a Rawalpindi-bound bus from nearby hills was attacked by unknown terrorists, causing a vehicle to collide with a goods truck.
Massive protests erupted across Gilgit Baltistan after the incident. Women and children in Skardu, Chilas, and Gilgit blocked the roads and blamed the government and security agencies for their failure to act against terrorists. Chilas is located in the mountainous area of Gilgit-Baltistan, close to the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Several terrorist groups are operating in the region, especially in the neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area of Pakistan.
Inflation in the Province
The people of Gilgit Baltistan are also facing a severe crisis due to high inflation and the unavailability of food items, including flour. According to Daily K2, a local Urdu newspaper, “It was said that people are jolting due to inflation and the government should refrain from targeted subsidy surveys or else there would be a strong reaction.”
Agha Ali Rizvi, a local political leader, recently addressed a protest rally against the removal of the wheat subsidy and said, “If the wheat subsidy is not restored, there will be massive protests all across Gilgit Baltistan”. They accused Islamabad of causing the crisis and making their lives miserable.
Several political groups have been criticizing Pakistan for exploiting the natural resources of the occupied territory and, in return, forcing the people of Gilgit Baltistan to pay heavy taxes and high electricity bills.
Problems in Gilgit Baltistan
The people of the GB region are demanding unity with India. The civil society of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is carrying out demonstrations every day to seek economic and political rights for the local people who are deprived of their basic human rights.
The protesters are seeking ordinary demands like employment, electricity, wheat, education, and basically a life above destitution. The protesters have also reignited the land-grabbing issue. Chinese CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) projects and the presence of Chinese officials are drastically damaging the environment and demography of the region
Another huge woe is that of electricity. GB is the largest producer of electricity but its hydropower plants deliver to everyone in the nation besides them. The locals have alleged the government of stealing their assets and resources. In winter the federal government cut the power supply of GB for almost 20 hours a day.