The government of Azad Jammu Kashmir has declared a local holiday in the capital city of Muzaffarabad on Monday amidst ongoing strikes and protests.

According to an official notification, May 13 (Monday) will be observed as a holiday in all government and private institutions in Muzaffarabad.

Furthermore, internet services remain suspended as negotiations between demonstrators and the government have not yielded an agreement, fueling the protest movement.

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The streets of Muzaffarabad and Poonch divisions are quiet with major business centers closed and public transport halted.

The protest march toward the state capital was initiated following unsuccessful discussions between the JAAC core committee and AJK Chief Secretary Dawood Bareach in Rawalakot, with protest leaders accusing the government of using delaying tactics.

The AJK protests are centered on demands for a reduction in electricity tariffs linked to the Mangla Hydropower Project, a wheat subsidy similar to that in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and an end to the unnecessary privileges and perks enjoyed by the ruling class and officials.

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