English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Protest erupts in Chilas in Pakistan-occupied-Gilgit Baltistan over extended power outages

Representative Image (Photo: ANI)

Locals in Harbandas area in Chilas, located in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan organized a protest recently expressing their frustration over prolonged power outages.

According to local media Pamir Times, protesters reportedly threw stones at the residence of the Executive Engineer and caused damage to property.

Locals voiced their discontent, citing unbearable living conditions exacerbated by frequent power cuts, particularly distressing as temperatures soar close to 40 degrees Celsius.

The issue of power cuts and load shedding in PoGB remains a significant concern for residents. Frequent interruptions in electricity supply disrupt daily life and exacerbate challenges, especially during periods of extreme weather conditions.

Despite frequent load shedding, local residents often have to pay inflated electricity bills, which has added fuel to their anger.

Amid escalating protests against the power cuts, a significant number of people in the area months ago had initiated a boycott of bill payments.

The inconsistent power supply hampers commercial activities in the area, discouraging investment and economic development in the region. Businesses often resort to expensive backup power solutions like generators, increasing operational costs.

Civil unrest and dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the energy crisis have occasionally escalated, demanding urgent solutions to the power supply issues.

The potential for hydroelectric power generation in Gilgit-Baltistan has not been fully realized due to bureaucratic obstacles, financial limitations, and a perceived lack of commitment. These challenges have resulted in ongoing issues with electricity supply in the region.

Moreover, PoGB faces significant gaps in infrastructure development, including roads, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, and water supply.

There are disparities in social development indicators between illegally occupied areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and other parts of Pakistan. Local communities and advocacy groups have raised concerns about marginalization and the need for inclusive development policies.

A crisis is unfolding across all sectors of Gilgit-Baltistan, encompassing various challenges and difficulties.

The educational crisis in the region extends beyond the confines of primary and secondary schools, permeating even into higher education institutions across PoGB and PoJK. The perennial issues of faculty shortages, insufficient transportation, and cramped classrooms have plagued the academic landscape for years.

Furthermore, recent protests by academic and administrative staff underscore the systemic financial woes afflicting these universities. Pending salary increments and a lack of funding have crippled teaching activities, leaving both students and educators in a state of uncertainty.

These challenges paint a stark picture of educational institutions transformed into arenas of neglect and disillusionment under the Pakistani government’s rule.

The promotion of education within these communities is not just a matter of academic advancement but a fundamental step towards empowering locals with knowledge of their rights–a prospect that Pakistan perceives as a threat to its illegal control over the region.