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Peace in sight for PoK after days of violence and unrest?

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Muzaffarabad, May 14:  Jammu Kashmir People Action Committee (JAAC) is expected to call off its protest on Tuesday afternoon after holding funeral prayers for one of its workers who was killed in clashes with the security forces in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Tuesday marks the fourth day of the anti-inflation protest and the shutter-down wheel-jam strike across PoK, especially in Muzaffarabad.

Thousands of protesters from all over the region have entered Muzaffarabad chanting anti-government, anti-inflation and pro-freedom slogans.

JAAC leader Shaukat Nawaz Mir, who led the long march, called on all the protestors to station themselves in the Eid Gah ground for the night, announcing that the protest will not transform into a sit-in until the demands were met by the Pakistani government.

“There has been a complete shutdown of internet across Muzaffarabad for two days now. Whatever the government decided and announced as a subsidy and new package with reduced prices of electricity and flour, it was not accepted because the third demand of cutting perks and privileges of government officials and bureaucrats has still been left out,” said Mir.

“However, this morning, we have been informed that the government has formed a committee to look into the details of privileges given to current and former officials. This means that they have accepted all of our demands. It indeed is a big success for us and our year long struggle for the rights of the people,” he added.

Shaukat Nawaz Mir said that there are about 40,000 protesters present in Muzaffarabad, who will be attending the funeral prayer of one of the protestors killed in clashes with the Pakistani police yesterday.

It is expected that the protest will be called off after the funeral prayers are held.

The wheel-jam protest has already been called off while the shutter-down strike is continuing while schools and government offices are closed.

The protest against inflation in PoK has gained global attention as violent clashes and scenes of riots, coupled with the government’s attempts to block routes of protesters to the capital and reported casualties on both sides have been unprecedented.

The protests have resulted in the death of at least four protesters and more than 30 getting injured. One police official has also lost his life while over 100 have been injured.

The protest certainly shook up the authorities and forced immediate action by federal government to intervene and find a solution to the worsening situation.

IANS

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