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LAHORE/PESHAWAR: At least five people have been killed in recent weeks and more injured in stampedes at sites distributing free flour under a government-backed scheme to help families struggling with soaring costs of basic staples.

Thousands of people gathered at the centers set up across the country as part of the government’s efforts to ease the impact of inflation, which running above 30%, a 50-year high. Costs of basic goods have surged even more, with flour prices rising over 45% in the past year.

The Pakistani government has launched the flour distribution programme to reach millions of families in need during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan that began last week.

Free wheat flour distribution centres become operational today

Four people, including two women, have died at distribution sites in eastern Punjab, the provincial Information Minister Amir Mir told Reuters, adding two of the dead also had underlying health conditions.

“Several (more) were injured because of the rush at some spots .. Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has ordered an inquiry about these incidents,” Mir said.

Another person was killed in a stampede at a distribution centre last week in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province according to records shared by the provincial food authority.

Thousands of bags of flour had also been looted from trucks and distribution points, according to the records.

“There were some unfortunate incidents of stampedes and looting,” Khan Ghalib, an official at the provincial food department said. “Women suffered due to heavy rush and stampede of men in the distribution centers.”

The province’s food minister Fazal Elahi told Reuters it planned to spend 19.77 billion Pakistani rupees ($69.74 million) to get flour to over 5.7 million families. The deadly rushes underscore the desperation in the face of soaring costs, exacerbated by the falling currency and the removal of subsidies agreed with the International Monetary Fund to unlock the latest tranche of its financial support package.


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Tulukan Mairandi Mar 31, 2023 07:00am
Wow. People are starving. What a failed siruation
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Danish abbasi Mar 31, 2023 07:05am
Goog boy Danish Abba's
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Safinaz Mar 31, 2023 08:44am
For their politics they are not afraid of killing millions, what does 5 people mean for them. It is such a shame that this is happening and their are people even at our highest institutions who still support them. I especially call upon our learned Supreme Court Judges, are you sure that you want to back This Regime even at the cost of breaking the constitution and at the cost of your own institution or even at the cost of this country ????
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Farhan Mar 31, 2023 10:47am
Govt has to stop this madness. Even if they want to give relief add this PKR. 1000 in their BI Support account as additional. There are lines of people waiting for this free Flour. Please stop, the people in line are our brothers and sisters, my heart goes off to see them in this situation. Aged and disable are there as well. Literally there are people if they work for the day they can easily earn double/ triple than the value of this Flour. But only as it is marketed as free people are putting there lives on stake.
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BK Mar 31, 2023 02:59pm
Insaan ke tazleel… Woh khud UK may bethay haram he roti kha rahay hain aur PAK may innocent loog aik bori aatay k liye mar rahai hain…such a sad and unjust state of affairs… Thank you Bajwa and munir…yeh aap ka kiya dhara hai…aap PAK k sachay batay ho…all I can say is that someday I hope you feel and go through the same sentiments that the people standing in line to get flour are living and feeling
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