GILGIT: People of Gilgit-Baltistan observed a shutter-down strike on Monday to protest government’s failure to provide the region with due share in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC) project. The protestors alleged the federal government of failing to provide them their due share in one of the biggest development projects in the country. The call for strike was given by the Awami Action Committee (AAC) and was observed in Gilgit and Skardu simultaneously. AAC is an alliance of major parties in the region, including political and religious entities. The lawyers in both the regions also refused to attend court proceedings in solidarity with the protest. The AAC also demanded that no taxes should be imposed on the people of Gilgit-Baltistan without giving them their constitutional rights. It also demanded solution to other problems including cut in wheat subsidy, mineral policy and electricity shortages. The strike caused inconvenience to the people as the public transport of the two regions as well as attendance in schools, colleges and offices also remained thin. The main gathering of protestors was observed at the Gadibagh Gilgti that also blocked the city’s main road. The protesters chanted slogans against the federal government and also held up banners with slogans in favour of their demands. Such banners were also put up at different places in the city. The AAC convener Maulana Sultan Raees said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan had been waiting and protesting for their due rights for long for their due rights but all had remained in vain. He said that the federal government denied them their appropriate rights, which led to unrest. He added that Gilgit-Baltistan was central to the CPEC project, but the people in the center seemed to have totally neglected that. “The federal government has also ignored the demand of the GB people that their representatives should be given representation in the parliament of Pakistan.” The speakers at the event also rejected the Mining Concession Rules, 2016, and alleged that the law had deprived the people of Gilgit-Baltistan of their own resources and shifted their ownership to federal ministry of Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan. “GB has the potential to generate cheap hydropower, but the federal government is reluctant to initiate the projects, due to which GB people are facing 12 to 14 hours power outages daily,” a participant noted. The protesters said that the subsidy on wheat was right of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, and that the federal government’s decision to cut the subsidy and decrease wheat supply had caused shortage of wheat in the remote areas. The speakers strongly held that the laws which had no backing of the Gilgit-Baltistan people should not be implemented. The civil society activists also took to the streets against the federal government in the Danyor Gilgit region. They blocked the Karakoram Highway for several hours and also chanted slogans against the government in the centre.