Anwaar Aftab

VEHARI - During an unprecedented protest demonstration where political kingpins were "taught a lesson", the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad has threatened that if their demands were not accepted till December 25, 2012, the farmers' community will take out a long march on 26th against the corrupt government. On the occasion, the farmers' body demanded through a resolution immediate withdrawal of increase in electricity tariff, tax-free agricultural inputs and subsidy on diesel. However, at the farmers' convention held in Vehari, the political leaders including MNA Tehmina Daultana, MPA Naeem Khan Bhabha, Mian Majid Nawaz Arain and PTI district organiser Tahir Anwer Wahla were not allowed to sit on the stage. The PKB leaders were of the view that it was not a political forum and "you (the politicians) are not allowed to score points on behalf of the farmers. However, the politicians expressed their feelings while sitting among the participants. Addressing the participants, the PKB president said that the government officials and bureaucrats were plundering Rs7 billion daily. "If this corruption is stopped for only one day, the amount to be saved will be enough for the electricity bills of the farmers' tube-wells. It is not humanity that the people are dying due to hunger and the rulers are chanting slogans like Zinda Hay Bhutto," the president added. The farmers will pay their tube-well bills only when the stolen Wapda's oil worth Rs20 billion is recovered." The farmers' leader alleged that President Zardari and former prime minister Gilani do not pay a single penny in the shape of taxes. "Gilani was the most corrupt man of the history. He did not forgive eve Hujjaj. The present prime minister has made huge corruption in the Rental Power Project. The person who is the most notorious in corruption is given the highest office of the country," he added.The farmers' leader said that more than half of the parliamentarians are farmers but they had done nothing for the farmers' welfare. He said that MNA Tehmina Daultana, who was present in the rally, was a leader but not well-wisher of farmers. "All MNAs and MPAs sitting here think only about themselves not about the people of their area who elect them and give a reason able position in the society. We are here only because they have done nothing for us. The people of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa do not pay bills. All three provinces' bills are collected from the Punjab people. I ask the government if we are not Pakistanis?""In the long march," he said, "the framers would be in a huge number and wielding sticks that are used to kill snakes and they would use the sticks to kill the corrupt government. We have talked with the deputy prime minister about tube wells' bills but he refused to pay. The government is helping the corrupt but not giving subsidy to the farmers." PKB Punjab President Khalid Khokhar said that the agriculture sector is the main part of the Pakistan's economy, adding that the enemies of the country wanted to destroy the source. PKB Senior Vice President Misbahul Haq Tareen said that the convention was a proof that now the farmers were united and they would get their rights. On the occasion, the PKB district president tabled a resolution that the old tariff should be exercised, with no sales tax on machinery, pesticides and other agricultural inputs and subsidy on diesel, and urea price should be equal to that of wheat.He said that it was not justice that the animals of the rich eat "Murabas" and the poor die because of hunger. Farmers' female leader Sajida Langah said that South Punjab should be declared a province to save the future of the youth.