KARACHI/ HYDERABAD/ SUKKUR: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Monday held a ‘Tractor March’ against the federal government to express solidarity with farmers of the country.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari led the March in Hyderabad. As the party processions reached the Fateh Chowk, Bilawal addressed the participants of the rally.
Accusing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government of destroying the country’s economy, he said that his party would not allow what he called the ‘financial murder’ of farmers. He said, “If we are to save our farmers, as well as, the economy, we will have to show ‘selected government’ the door.”
Terming agriculture as the backbone of the country’s economy, Bilawal said it was unfortunate that the urea crisis was affecting the agricultural produce. Today, he added, farmers were not being paid for their produce. He claimed the situation had deteriorated to such an extent that farmers were now sleeping hungry.
The PPP chairman said the present government had created one crisis after the other. “The PPP will set out on a long march from Karachi on February 27 and will head to Islamabad where will expose misdeeds of the government,” he said. At the same time, he made it clear that the party would not topple the government through ‘unconstitutional means’.
Bilawal said those calling Sindh’s local bodies’ law a ‘black law’ were destined to fail in their attempts to get it repealed.
Meanwhile, a rally of farmers in Karachi started its march from Malir to Mazar-e-Quaid Monday morning. Several leaders and workers of the PPP including Agha Rafiullah, Sajid Jokhio, Salman Murad and others attended the ‘Kisan March’.
The Pakistan People’s Party has announced to stage a protest sit-in at Karachi Press Club on January 30 against the massive hike in the prices of essential products and services including petrol and electricity and also against shortage of natural gas and fertilizer for farmers in the country.
The provincial and Karachi chapter leaders of PPP made the announcement to this effect on Monday as they addressed participants of the “Kissan March” here.
The Kissan March in Karachi and other parts of Sindh was held on the appeal of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to protest against urea shortage and other economic hardships being faced by the growers in the country.
The PPP leaders who addressed the Kissan March in Karachi said that the party’s agitation drive would continue in the province till February 27 when Bilawal would lead a ‘long march’ from the city towards Islamabad against the ‘anti-people’ government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
They said that the Kissan March was merely warming up activity in the run-up to the long march commencing from March 27 that would, they said, cause the eventual downfall of the PTI’s anti-people government.
Addressing the protestors, Sindh Information and Labour Minister, Saeed Ghani, who is also PPP Karachi chapter President, said that sheer incompetence on the part of the present federal government was responsible for fertilizer shortage in the country.
He said the farmers’ march had been taken out in Karachi to show that the concerned people lack trust in the agricultural policies of the federal government. He said the workers associated with the farm sector had taken to the streets in the city to secure their lawful rights denied to them by the present government. He said the opposition political parties in the province had been unduly attempting to assume control of Karachi.
Ghani said that the opposition political parties in Sindh had joined hands to protest against the provincial local government law but they had failed to raise their voice in favour of the oppressed growers, farm workers, and the residents of Karachi.
He said the People’s Party had organised the Kissan March to show the wrath of the people against the ill-advised policies of the present federal government and uncalled for agitation drive of the opposition parties in the province on the issue of the local government system.
He said the PPP had once more taken to the streets all over the country against the shortage and black-marketing of fertilizer. He said that the poor people, farmers, labourers, and all the other oppressed communities had been highly upset due to the unwise policies of the federal government. He said the PTI’s government had proved to be a bad omen for the underprivileged people in the country.
He said the Imran Khan’s rule had been a ‘curse’ for the masses in the country. He alleged that once ousted from power, he would remain a curse for the countrymen. He said the people of the country had the absolute resolve to get rid of the present federal government.
Ghani was of the view that the opposition parties’ agitation in Sindh against the provincial local government law was only meant to do a political point-scoring. He said the PTI, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and Grand Democratic Alliance hadn’t given any call to do protest against massive inflation, urea, and gas shortage in the country as they opted to do agitation merely on the pretext of local government law.
PPP Sindh General Secretary, Waqar Mehdi, said the People’s Party had been continuing with its struggle in favour of the oppressed communities in the country including farmers.
He recalled that former Prime Ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto who belonged to the PPP had taken revolutionary steps for the development of the farm sector in the country.
He said the PPP had distributed farmland free of charge among the landless peasants in the country, while the present government has deprived the farmers of their land, water, seeds, and urea.