The Kissan Board has rejected the Kissan Package announced by the prime minister a week ago and said they would launch a long march against the government on October 5.
KB central president Sadiq Khan Khakwani announced this at a meeting of the Kissan Board’s Faisalabad Division at Al-Markaz Al-Islami, Chiniot Bazaar, Faisalabad, on Wednesday. “The Kissan Package is a mere eyewash…It is a ploy by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to gain the support of farmers in the local government elections.”
Khakwani said the ‘relief’ package was nothing more than a political gimmick.
He said the PML-N had raised hollow slogans during its election campaign and had promised welfare projects for farmers. However, after coming to power, the government has only served the interests of the elite, he said. “The income divide has grown in the past two-and-a-half years and the rich have gotten richer while the poor are being forced onto the streets.” Khakwani said that the Kissan Board had carefully studied and analysed the Kissan package before deciding to reject it. “We are only demanding our rights. We will hold a long march and stage a series of protests.”
He said the long march will start in Sadiqabad on October 5. The participants will march through several cities till they reach Islamabad. “There we will hold a massive demonstration.”
The Kissan Board will also stage protest sit-ins and demonstrations on various highways after Eidul Azha. “Reaching Islamabad on October 9, the Kissan Board will besiege the parliament house to press its demands.”
Khakwani urged local leaders of the Kissan Board to speed up efforts to create awareness among the masses, especially among farmers, about the government’s anti-people and anti-farmer policies. “We want maximum participation in the long march and in our demonstrations.”
He said it was apparent that the Kissan Package announced by the prime minister was a ploy to trick farmers into supporting the PML-N in the upcoming local government elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2015.