PTI announces Insaf Kissan rally to press demands of cane growers

Rally will start from Hyderabad on January 3 and end at CM House

Photo Mohammad Saqib/ppi December 31, 2017

KARACHI: Expressing solidarity with sugar cane growers of Sindh, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had announced to hold an 'Insaf Kissan’ rally from Hyderabad to Karachi on January 3, 2018, to press just demands of the growers.

Announcement of the rally was made on Saturday by PTI Sindh President Dr Arif Alvi during a press conference at the Insaf House. PTI leaders Haleem Adil Sheikh, Imran Ismail, Khurrum Sher Zaman, Dua Bhutto, Mehfooz Ursani and other leaders were also present at the conference.

Sugar cane growers of Sindh have been protesting for a long time but the Sindh government has turned a deaf ear to their cries, the PTI leaders said.

Sugar mills of Sindh are closed and opened on the orders of Anwar Majeed, a close aide of Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, alleged Dr Alvi. He said the federal and Sindh governments had already given a subsidy of Rs20 billion to the millers but they were still not ready to buy sugar cane from the growers at the rate of Rs182 per maund.

Calling the mill owners the 'Zardari mafia', Dr Alvi said if the rate offered by the millers was accepted by the growers, the growers would suffer a loss of Rs36 billion. The government was involved in the economic genocide of sugar cane growers, Dr Alvi claimed.

Notices issued on sugar mill owners' review plea

Besides sugar cane farmers, growers of other crops including wheat, rice and cotton were also being exploited, said Sheikh. He added that sugar cane growers were forced to take to the streets as they had no other option left.

Every year, the crushing season is delayed by the sugar mill owners and growers have to protest, Sheikh said. Due to the exploitation, around 84,000 workers of sugar industry have been rendered jobless, he claimed.

The mighty millers even disregarded the high court's order, Sheikh alleged. He added that Sindh was an agricultural province but corrupt rulers were sucking the blood of innocent growers. Sheikh accused Zardari of playing a major role in the sugar crisis as he owned 17 sugar mills in the province. The people of Sindh know that the sitting government is an agent of the corruption mafia, he said.

Thousands of PTI workers, growers and citizens would march from Hyderabad to Karachi on January 3 and they would go to CM House to present a memorandum of their demands, Sheikh said.

PTI always raised voice for growers in the Sindh Assembly but the government did not listen, Zaman said.

Bilawal takes notice of mishandling of growers' protest

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan should play its due role to end the exploitation of sugar cane growers, Ismail said. He added that if the government resorted to the use of power to stop the rally, a bigger movement would be initiated.


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