GILGIT (ET): The streets of Gilgi-Baltistan (G-B) wore a deserted look on Monday as markets were shut down and roads were empty due to a strike by the Awami Action Committee (AAC). Attendance in educational institutions, and public and private offices also remained low.
“This has been the most successful strike in the history of G-B as all seven districts observed it and for that we are thankful to the people as we have made a unified demand to the government,” said Ehsan Ali, chairman of the committee, while talking to The Express Tribune.
Ali termed the strike a referendum against the subsidy’s withdrawal and said it has left the federal and G-B governments with no choice but to lower the rate of wheat to the subsidised value in 2009.
“The government should accept the public’s decision and lower the prices of wheat,” he said.
According to Rafiullah Afridi, a journalist based in Astore Valley, there was a complete strike in the area and some people even organised protests in favour of their demands.
Similarly, reports from Skardu also suggested the strike was a success as people refrained from opening their shops and running public transport vehicles on the roads.
Lawyers’ bodies in G-B also lent their support to the strike and boycotted the courts. G-B Supreme Court Bar Association President Shahbaz Khan said the strike was held to show solidarity with AAC. Following in the public’s footsteps, the private school association of Gilgit also closed their institutions while attendance remained low in government schools.