Islamabad, April 1
People in Pakistan have been facing difficulties during Ramzan, with over a dozen of them dying in stampedes in tortuously long queues for cheap wheat flour, The Pakistan Military Monitor reported.
Scores of people have suffered injuries and millions have been coming back to their homes without a fistful of wheat flour, as per the news report. Police beatings of people queued up for wheat is being witnessed in Pakistan, as per the news report.
Hundreds and hundreds of families have to break their fast with dry bread and water during Ramzan. Rising inflation has made the wheat flour crisis even more tragic.
The price of ordinary snacks like samosa and pakoras are so high that poor people, who once relied on them for filling up their stomachs after fasting, have to make do with leftovers in shops, as per the news report.
Every day, millions of people queue up outside government shops only to return to their homes empty-handed. Subsidised wheat is hard to come by across the government shops as they are sold in black for an exorbitant price or bought in large amounts by rich people, according to The Pakistan Military Monitor report.
Tons of flour are sold to hotels and other businesses. Shops are closed before wheat bags are whisked off to rich families.
As per the news report, the blame for the ongoing wheat crisis faced by the country lies with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government and other provincial governments for being indifferent to the crisis.
As the Sharif government wrestled with former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, people in the country were left abandoned.
Wheat disappeared and entered the black market while stampedes became common for subsidised and poor-quality wheat and flour, as per the news report.
Hoarders flourished and the rich people continued with their lavish life while poor people wept on the streets, fought with each other and fell to death and injury across the country, The Pakistan Military Monitor reported. Millers have had their share of grouse as they failed to get sanctioned supplies from the government and were forced to purchase in the open which has resulted in higher prices.
There have been multiple stampede incidents across Pakistan due to the unorganised distribution of free flour, and the latest such incident in Multan left 14 people, including two police personnel, injured at the spot, The News International reported.
In Multan, hundreds of people were involved in a stampede after they gathered to get free flour at a distribution point on Wednesday. The Rescue Control Room received a panic call during the free flour distribution centre near Jamia-ul-Uloom near Madni Chowk, Rescue 1122 officials said.
The Rescue immediately alerted the motorbike staff on the spot and sent more ambulances and motorbikes from the nearby station. They found 12 people and two police personnel injured on the spot. As per the news report, two of them were found critical.