MIANWALI: Terming the government’s multi-billion rupees Kisaan Relief Package a bluff, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Sunday said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was befooling the innocent peasants and working against the interests of farmers.
“Kisaan package for farmers is another bluff just like the laptop scheme for students,” he said, while addressing a rally during his local government (LG) election campaign in union council Doaba in Mianwali.
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Addressing the prime minister, Imran said, “You cannot fool farmers every time. People had once trusted you and now they have seen the results of giving you a third chance.”
He said the government was busy in the economic murder of farmers. “Nawaz Sharif is looting the country and spending tax money to expand his businesses abroad. Even the money for advertisement is taken from public exchequer,” he said, adding that farmers were dying of poverty and lack of resources.
Imran said half of the population of the country was living below the poverty line and that poverty could not be ended by giving mere cash subsidies to the peasants.
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“Poverty can only be alleviated by making the farmers self-sufficient. It cannot be removed by assisting the farmer. The government, by granting few thousands per acre to the farmers, is making farmers helpless and reliant,” he said.
Giving the example of India, he said in the neighbouring country electricity is provided to farmers at 57 paisa per unit while our government is charging 24 rupees on a single unit. “The Indian government provides free of charge pesticide and fertiliser and as a result their farmers have become prosperous,” he said.
He said if PM Nawaz was worried about the welfare of the farmers, he would not waste billions on the Nandipur project and Metro bus project. “If these 100 billion rupees were spent on peasants, it would bring visible revolution in all villages,” he said.
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Imran expressed his confidence in the people of Mianwali, from where his party won its first seat in the 2002 general elections, held under former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf.
“You people sowed the seeds of change when you elected me in the elections. God willing, we will wage a war against poverty by helping peasants and educating children,” he said.
Talking about the Objectives Resolution, he said Pakistan was meant to be an Islamic welfare state whose essentials should have been justice, fair play and equality.
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Imran also condemned feudal lords and the country was ruled by a certain class due to which power was not devolved and most of the masses remained poor.
“People should rule their country and fight against the concentration of money in few hands. The time has come for people to fight against this sham democracy and vote for the real one, where common people will have power,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2015.
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