Nationwide Protests in Pakistan Against Wheat Crisis: Demand Local Procurement

by Antariksh Singh

In response to the ongoing wheat crisis plaguing Pakistan, the Farmers’ Association, Kissan Ittehad, has declared nationwide protests set to commence on May 10th. The announcement, made by Kissan Ittehad Chairman Khalid Khokhar, comes amidst escalating tensions over the government’s decision to import wheat rather than sourcing it locally.

At a press conference, Khokhar voiced the frustrations of farmers, condemning what he termed as corruption in the wheat import process and calling for severe repercussions for those involved. He alleged that the “wheat mafia” had pocketed a staggering PKR 100 billion from these imports, while the nation suffered a loss nearing USD 1 billion.

Khokhar emphasized that despite the ample wheat production by local farmers, they were unfairly denied their rightful earnings due to the preferential treatment given to imported wheat. The decision to hike the reserve rate of wheat, he claimed, was a futile attempt to curb the influence of the alleged wheat mafia.

The Farmers’ Association contends that repeated appeals to government authorities, including the Prime Minister, Army Chief, Director General of ISI, and Minister of Food Security, yielded no fruitful response. Feeling abandoned by official channels, Khokhar underscored that the farmers had no recourse but to take to the streets in protest.

The planned protests are anticipated to draw thousands of farmers from across the country, united in their demand for the government to prioritize local procurement of wheat. Khokhar appealed to various sectors of society, including the media, legal professionals, and the business community, to rally behind the farmers’ cause.

Assuring that the protests would be peaceful, Khokhar asserted that they would persist until the government acceded to their demands. The Farmers’ Association is steadfast in its resolve to continue the demonstrations until concrete steps are taken to address the plight of local farmers.

As the nation braces for these nationwide protests, the spotlight remains firmly fixed on the government’s response to the wheat crisis and its commitment to safeguarding the interests of its agricultural backbone.

Antariksh Singh

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