Pakistan Kissan Ittehad protest ‘unfriendly’ govt policies

MULTAN:The activists of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad staged a big demonstration here at Nawan Shehr Chowk against low prices of agricultural produce, and demanded enforcement of agricultural emergency.

The protesters were led by Ittehad Chairman Ch Anwar. They burnt cotton to express their dissent. They shouted slogans against the government and demanded immediate steps to address their problems.

Speaking on the occasion, Ch Anwar, Zulfiqar Awan and others said that the flawed policies of the government brought the farmers at the brink of bankruptcy. They pointed out that the rate of phutti stood at Rs3,500 per maund before its sowing but it immediately plunged to Rs2,500 as soon as the new crop reached the market. “The rates of other crops have also dipped in the same manner. We ask the rulers to tell us who is fleecing poor farmers?” they raised a question.

The protesters also criticised Mepco and said that overbilling crushed them. “If the Mepco does not send us corrected bills within one month, we’ll be forced to encircle Mepco headquarters,” they warned.

They said that the rates of all the crops went down considerably but the prices of all commodities made of these crops stood the same. They added that the farmers played the role of backbone of national economy and the government should adopt practical measures to protect them. They warned that the Kissan Ittehad would stage demonstrations at district and tehsil level across Punjab on daily basis if agricultural emergency to resolve farmers’ problems is not enforced forthwith.

The leaders and workers of Saraikistan Democratic Party expressed complete solidarity with the farming community on the occasion. Saraiki leaders Abida Bokhari and Syed Matloob Bokhari said that the federal and provincial governments made anti-Saraiki and anti-farmer policies which was a condemnable act. They declared that the Saraiki parties would fully support farmers and strive for the protection of farmers’ rights.