LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab President Main Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo has castigated the Punjab government “for pursuing anti-farmer, anti-agriculture and anti-rural policies”.
He predicted a backlash of massive proportions throughout the country against the government policies if it failed to address their grievances sooner rather than later because their patience was running out. The PPP Punjab president said in a statement issued on Sunday that his caution must be taken very seriously by the government, adding that Saturday’s meeting of the farmers’ representatives bodies in Lahore, Farmers Association of Pakistan (FAP), Pakistan Kissan Movement and others, undoubtedly gave credence to his warning.
Watoo said that the PPP fully supported the charter of demands of there representatives organizations of the farmers and the Party would not lag behind in the struggle in forcing the government to accept their demands. He observed that the farmers of Pakistan were being meted out step-motherly treatment because they were being denied the fruits of their blood and toil due to the wrong policies of the government.
The PPP Punjab President pointed out that farmers of Pakistan were working under the harsh environment caused due to the apathy of the government while farmers of other countries of the region were benefiting from the generous subsidies by the respective governments. He said Pakistani farmers face the brunt of expensive inputs as compared to their counterparts in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.
He pointed out that the ban on the inter-provincial movement of wheat was another manifestation of anti- farmers policy of this government as it was hurting the farmers of Punjab. He demanded that the ban must be lifted forthwith because its continuity was beneficial to the hoarders and the middle man at the cost of poor farmers who had to sell the commodity at lower rates to meet his pressing financial obligations due to the purchase of inputs.
He maintained that the whole focus of the Punjab government on the selective development of Lahore at the expense of the thickly populated areas of the metropolis and rest of the province was flawed. This discriminatory development strategy is both counter-productive and self-defeating and injurious to harmonious relations among the people of this province. .
The latest Expressway Metro Train project costing mote than 1.6 billion dollars is not only devoid of the narrative of equitable development but will also, on completion ,submerge the rich cultural heritage of city of Lahore under bridges and concrete ruing the aesthetic beauty of the metropolis. He pointed out. Metro Bus had already damaged it and the Expressway Train Project will complete the circle, he observed.
He pointed out that the dilapidated condition of the farm to market roads flew in the face of the role model projection of good governance of the province of Punjab. While referring to the pathetic conditions of the government hospitals, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo said that no medicine was available there and the equipment was either not available or resting non- functional for want for small repair.
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