PoK Residents Call On India As They Fight Twin Battles Against COVID-19 And Food Shortage
Battling acute shortage of food in parallel with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents from several parts of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) have called on the Indian Government to send in food via Jammu and Rajouri, Economic Times.
It should be noted that struggling to deal with the pandemic, Chief Minister (CM) of Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman has publicly slammed Pakistan's Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan-led Government for falling short on providing technical and financial support to deal with the pandemic.
The relief measures were announced by Pakistan government for the residents, however nothing has been done so far.
The government has failed to check the rising inflation. The food items are sold at much higher price at the whims of the shopkeeper while the price control committee is failing miserably to control such activities.
For instance, a bag of 20 kg flour which was under Pakistani Rupees 700 (Indian rupees 350 approx) per bag before Corona virus struck the region is now being sold at more than Pakistani Rupees 1,200 a bag.
Bordering China's Xinjiang province, Gilgit-Baltistan has recorded 234 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far, while three persons have already lost lives. CM Rehman had demanded a package of Rs 1.75 billion from Islamabad to fight the tough situation.
Moreover the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of the political outfit Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has slammed PM Khan's Government for holding back Rs 2.5 billion which could have been put to use towards the region's fight against the pandemic.
Furthermore, the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Gilgit-Baltistan have also alleged negligence in the distribution of relief materials to the hapless and needy.
As per another report, the region is also facing shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits due to which many doctors and paramedic staff in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) are protesting as they fear getting infected while treating COVID-19 patients.
Moreover, there were reports regarding Pakistan shifting coronavirus affected people from its most populous province, Punjab, and the rest of the country to Mirpur city in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan.
The people are concerned as the region lacks basic facilities and medical staff, and already many residents of the region has to travel to different parts of Pakistan for getting treatment.
It should be noted that PoK has poor healthcare system and is completely unprepared to tackle a situation like the COVID-19 outbreak. The gross neglect by Islamabad is only adding to it woes.
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