LAHORE - PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that his party would not lag behind in protecting and promoting the economic interests of the farmers community of Pakistan.
“They feed country’s entire population by producing sufficient amount of wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables”, he observed while talking to a delegation of PPP Kissan Wing that called on him at Bilawal House under the leadership of Nawab Shair Waseer.
Qamar Zaman Kaira, Jahangir Badar, Senator Qayyum Soomro, Ch. Manzoor, Tanvir Ashraf Kaira and Nadeem Afzal Chann were also present.
The PPP chief said that prosperity of farmers , haris and labourers was the prosperity of Pakistan.
Zardari underscored the importance of cooperative farming as it would ensure adequate returns of their produce. “In view of the small land holding of most of the formers cooperative farming is the only way forward”, he observed while strongly recommending that solar tube wells should be installed given the shortage of electricity.
He pointed out that Sindh government had taken a lead in this regard as Sindh Bank was expanding financial and technical assistance to the farmers .
Zardari recalled that during the last tenure of PPP government textile export surged from $9billion to $14billion due to its wise cotton policy.
He said that the support price of cotton at that time was around Rs 5000 and that of the wheat Rs 1000 which brought prosperity in the rural economy.
Earlier, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, in his address said that the farmers of Punjab were fed up with the anti-farmers policy of the present government.
He said that the cotton, rice and sugarcane growers were hard hit because the support price of these commodities had left them high and dry. He said that there were no buyers to buy rice even at the rate of Rs1200 per 40 kg and similarly cotton growers were also undergoing the same agony.
Wattoo further told the meeting that during his Chief Ministership, he introduced a cooperative loan scheme with mark rate of only 2.5 per cent.
Nawab Shair Waseer on this occasion demanded immediate sufficient increase in support prices of wheat, cotton, sugarcane and rice to save the farmers from economic problems.
IS network present in Pakistan: Malik
INP adds: Former Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday that militant group Islamic State's (IS) network is present in the country and that it is led by Yousuf Salfi.
Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad, where the former Interior Minister had arrived to attend a meeting of the Missing Persons Commission,Rehman Malik claimed that security personnel had arrested several IS militants during raids conducted in different parts of the country.
He said that being a former Interior Minister, he had his own means of gathering information from sources which had provided him with information regarding the presence of IS militants in the country.
He said that the IS militant group had emerged after infighting between different groups under the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella group.
He said that he will disclose that where the meetings of the terrorist organisation were held in the country within a few days. The PPP Senator said that he was optimistic that the negotiations between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the government will be successful.
"It will be an achievement of the Jirga if both parties start talks", Malik stated.
"PPP never supported Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). We are standing with the Parliament for the survival of democracy", he said. He termed the appointment of Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan as the new Chief Election Commissioner a "good omen".
Rehman Malik, commenting on case against former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf, said that the "Pandora's Box" will be opened with addition of new names in the treason case.
"Re-investigating the treason case will not bring any kind of harm to the government", he added. The statement from the former Interior Minister comes despite a denial of IS presence by incumbent Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.