Pok Unrest: Call For 'Azadi' From Pakistan Rises As Tensions Escalate Over Economic Crisis (WATCH)


(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) As tensions rise in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) over a mounting economic crisis, the fervent call for 'Azadi' from Pakistan gains momentum, echoing the growing discontent among residents. Against the backdrop of widespread protests, soaring prices of wheat flour, inflated electricity bills, and oppressive taxes, the region finds itself engulfed in a whirlwind of unrest.

The call for the protest was issued by the Awami Action Committee, catalysed by overnight police raids that led to the arrests of severl leaders and activists.

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Reacting to this, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has sanctioned Rs 23 billion for immediate disbursement to the region following unsuccessful negotiations between protesters and the regional government.

PoK "prime minister" Chaudhry Anwarul Haq stressed the residents' longstanding demand for affordable electricity and flour subsidies, highlighting the critical need for accessible essentials.

The Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC) has been steadfast in its advocacy for electricity provision at hydropower generation costs, subsidised wheat flour, and an end to elite class privileges.

Violent protests marred on Saturday, with protestors damaging multiple vehicles, including a magistrate's car, along the Poonch-Kotli road. Markets, trade centers, offices, schools, and eateries remained shuttered across the region, amplifying the disruption.

Following the outbreak of violence, law enforcement initiated a crackdown on protesters, resulting in the arrest of dozens of individuals in Muzaffarabad.

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Earlier measures included the suspension of mobile phone and internet services in various parts of the region to curb the unrest.

Recent reports by Dawn indicate that police arrested approximately 70 activists on May 9 and 10 to thwart a planned long march by the JAAC, leading to intense clashes in Dadyal and a widespread "shutter-down strike" call.

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AsiaNet News

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