Bilawal lambasts PM for anti-farmer policies

Alleges PTI's govt broke country's agricultural backbone

Z Ali January 24, 2022
Photo: Twitter/PPP


Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto has said that the country was confronting food insecurity due to Prime Minister Imran Khan's economic policies that are "increasingly deepening financial strains for farmers".

Addressing the party’s much-touted ‘tractor trolley’ rallies on Monday, the PPP chairperson asked thousands of farmers to lend their support to PPP to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan. He lambasted the government for “breaking” the country’s agricultural backbone, adding that the subsequent policies of the ruling party bred grounds for one crisis after the other for the farmers.

Commenting on the prevailing shortage of urea, he said the crisis will affect the country’s food security.
According to him, the shortfall has badly hit the ongoing wheat cultivation, which he feared is likely to witness a drop in production, necessitating the import of flour to meet the country’s demand. Bilawal deplored that all the problems related to the farmers fall on deaf ears whenever they are pointed out to the government.

Starting with the attack of locusts, a number of issues that have kept hurting the agricultural economy in the last three years have only elicited an indifferent response from the federal government, he added.
“We raised voice that the water distribution [with Sindh] has been unjust, that locusts are destroying the crops, that farmers are being paid an unfair price for their crops and this urea crisis but they do nothing,” he blamed.

Bilawal recalled that during Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf’s regime, the people used to stand in queues to receive subsidized wheat and sugar which were imported then to meet the local needs. However, within a year after taking reins of the government, former president and PPP’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s policies made Pakistan again a wheat and sugar exporting country, he said.

Asserting the farmer-friendly approach of his party he shared one instance during his mother, former PM Benazir Bhutto’s government. Bilawal said Benazir directed the department concerned to procure potatoes from the farmers who were destroying their crop because it was fetching a very low price.

“The bureaucrats, the baboos were worried that what the government would do with so much quantity of potatoes. She told them that she doesn’t care and asked them to purchase the potatoes and feed them to fish in the sea, telling them that she can’t see the farmers sleep on their empty stomach.”

The PPP’s chairman asked the people to prepare to participate in his party’s long march from Karachi to Islamabad which will start from February 27. “We will reach Islamabad, we will expose them and we will put an end to this dispensation of puppets in a democratic, legal and constitutional way,” he added.

In Rawalpindi, the rally was led by PPP leaders Raja Pervez Ashraf, Media Coordinator Mian Khurram Rasool and others. The march started from the place of martyrdom of late PPP chairperson and two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi. The participants marched with tractor trolleys to Murree Road, Faizabad.

Addressing the rally, former premier Ashraf said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should understand that no class in Pakistan is ready to tolerate his government anymore. He added that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has expressed solidarity with farmers because he understands that Pakistan cannot prosper if farmers are unhappy. He further said that PPP’s politics was the politics of the people.

The former premier also said that his party would conduct a long march from Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi to Islamabad on February 27. “I would like to ask the people to unite for prosperity of Pakistan,” he said. “This is why today the same voice is being raised from all sides.” He added that PPP’s protest will continue till the government is sent packing.

Media Coordinator Khurram said that PPP and people are two sides of the same coin. He said that Bilawal has come to the field to save the country. “He has the spirit of Bibi Shaheed,” he remarked.


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