Pakistan: Protest Highlight Inequitable Distribution of Free Wheat Flour


Protests have erupted in the Khar area of Pakistan, with locals claiming that the government has denied deserving families access to free wheat flour under the government scheme. The protests occurred in the Civil Colony of Khar and saw locals chanting slogans against the food department, flour mills, and dealers. They wanted the flour dealers to be punished for not following the rules. They said the free flour program was meant for families who needed it, but it didn’t reach all those families.

More than 2,000 bags of wheat flour have reportedly gone missing from distribution centres in the district over the last two days. The protesters all accused the district food controller and his subordinates, free wheat dealers, flour mills, and political and trader leaders of being complicit in the anomaly.


The protesters also said that the people in charge of the local flour mills and the food department had taken away the right of several hundred poor and needy families to get free wheat flour. They urged the district administration to ensure that all deserving families received free flour.

In the Shangla district, where the Karakoram Highway was blocked, people from Dandai and nearby village councils held another protest. The protests denounced the local government and police in their chants. They expressed dissatisfaction over the administration’s decision to designate five flour distribution points for one union council, Maira, but not one for the Dandai union council.

Protesters, led by village council members Maulana Yousaf, Ziaullah Swati, Bashirzada, Shakilur Rehman, and Mohammad Yehya, said scuffles at flour distribution centres had become routine and that elderly people and women were made to queue up for long hours during the month of fasting.

The protests have highlighted the issues with the free flour scheme and the government’s ability to provide for its citizens. The scheme is meant to help deserving families, especially during Ramadan, but reports suggest that irregularities in its implementation have denied many deserving families access to free wheat flour.

While the protests have brought attention to the situation, it is now up to the government to address these irregularities and ensure that the free flour scheme reaches all deserving families. The government must ensure its citizens receive necessities, especially during Ramadan when food and other commodities are in high demand. The government must work towards transparency and accountability to regain public trust and ensure those in need are not left behind.

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