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PM approves Rs23b for AJK amid ACC protest

13 May, 2024 18:50

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved the provision of Rs23 billion for Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) amid the Awami Action Committee (AAC) led long march left for capital Muzaffarabad.

A wheel-jam strike for subsidy on flour and electricity and against high taxes has entered its fourth day.

At least one police official died and dozens were injured on Saturday. A complete strike has also been observed in the territory since Friday, bringing routine life to a halt.

The Premier granted the approval on Monday after a special meeting chaired in Islamabad.

The high-level meeting was attended by Prime Minister of AJK Chaudhry Anwarul Haq along with political leaders and ministers of coalition parties.

“No one can reject two fundamental demands regarding cheap roti [bread] and electricity,” said PM Anwar.

PM Shehbaz Sharif assured of his all-out support to address issues of the AJK people, he added.

According to a notification issued by the AJK energy department, household consumers using one to 100 units, will pay Rs3 per unit. Those using 101 to 300 units, the new cost will be Rs5 per unit and for those consuming more than 300 units, the new rate will be Rs6 per unit.

The rates for commercial consumers were also decreased according to the notification.

President Asif Ali Zardari also took notice of the violent protests and urged the stakeholders to exercise restraint and resolve the issues through dialogue and mutual consultation.

“The political parties, state institutions, and the people of AJK should act responsibly so that hostile elements cannot exploit the situation to their benefit,” Zardari said while addressing a delegation of PPP lawmakers in the AJK Legislative Assembly according to an official statement.

Rallies from across the valley were heading towards Muzaffarabad.

Protestors staged sit-ins and closed Kohala–Muzaffarabad Road at several points. The key road stretches 40 kilometres, It links Kohala town with Muzaffarabad. Sources said that the protesters are expected to use the same road from Dhirkot to reach Muzaffarabad.

The AJK government called in the Rangers and police after clashes erupted in Mirpur during demonstrations. A police constable was killed and over 70 others injured in the clashes so far.

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