KHANEWAL

Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Ameer Senator Sirajul Haq declared on Sunday that the sitting government was bound to procure last grain of wheat from the farmers, warning that if the government did not resolve problems of the growers, farmers from all the provinces will jointly march on the Parliament in Islamabad.

Addressing a huge gathering of farmers and growers at a Kissan Convention here at Adda Wijhiyanwala, Katcha Khu on Vehari Road, about 40-km from here, the JI chief pointed out that the farming community across the country had been grappling with a difficult time due to high costs of agricultural inputs, high electricity tariff and worst loadshedding. “The farmers are not getting due return of their produces and the government should take remedial steps to avoid losses to the farmers,” he emphasised.

Earlier, JI chief Senator Sirajul Haq reached the Pakistan Kissan Board convention venue driving a tractor along with a large number of Jamaat-e-Islami activists and leaders. They were holding party flags, banner and placards.

The JI chief drew a comparison, noting that Indian government was providing subsidy to the farmers on agricultural inputs while the Pakistani government was creating problems for the farmers by importing agricultural products from India, adding that development of the farming community was in fact the development and progress of the country. Haq also demanded the government to make immediate arrangement for the payment of pending outstanding dues of the sugarcane growers, regretting that sugar millers were dodging the farmers and not making payments after purchasing sugarcane from the growers at very low rates.

The JI chief appealed to all political parties to shun fight among themselves over petty issues and instead, wage a war against poverty, ignorance, price hike, unemployment and loadshedding in the country.

He reiterated that the JI after coming into power would give subsidy on five items including fertilizers, seed, pesticides, electricity and diesel to the farmers. Sirajul Haq lamented that, warehouse and stores of government were still stashed with wheat procured last year, but people in Thar and other areas were losing lives due to drought and lack of food in these areas. The JI chief said that a few families had been ruling the country since the creation of Pakistan, urging the masses not to vote feudal lords, capitalists and industrialists, adding that they had been amassing wealth and building property abroad. “I assure you that if the masses voted the JI to power in the next general elections, we will provide free education, health and other basic human facilities to poor people,” he promised. He informed that the successive rulers had shackled the nation and the country in huge loans secured from the IMF and World Bank on most humiliating terms and the nation had to pay huge amounts in shape of interest on these foreign loans.

The JI ameer revealed that tariff of different utilities and other daily-use items were jacked up every now to collect revenue for meeting the huge budget deficit which led to worst inflation, making the public life miserable.

Sirajul Haq said that most of the security men were on VVIP duty while the masses were at the mercy of criminals and terrorists. He said that Pakistan had been established in the name of Islam but the rulers had drifted it away from the religion and created a class-based society in the country.

Senator Sirajul Haq said that he wanted to open the doors of the President House, the Prime Minister and the assemblies to the common man, but added that to achieve this end, the masses would have to say farewell to the vaderas and capitalists and repose trust in the honest and competent leaders of the JI. Speaking on the occasion, JI Punjab chief Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar vowed that he would continue raising voice of the rights of the farmers in the Punjab Assembly till their rights were secured.

Pakistan Kissan Board chief Sadiq Khan Khakwani in his address said that the Kissan would stage a “Long March” to Islamabad in October next for their rights. He demanded interest-free loans for the growers and fixation of support prices of different crops before the harvest.

JI leaders including Ch Uzair Latif, Mian Farrukh Rehman Kamboh, Irtfa Ziaullah and other were also present with the thousands of participants reached in the convention from Khanewal, Multan, Sahiwal, Bahwalnagar, Bahawalpur, Vehari, Toba Tek Sing and Jhang districts.