MANDI BAHAUDDIN-Despite the fact Pakistan is an agricultural country, no government has ever bothered to take effective steps to mitigate the problems the farming community is faced with, Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said.

Addressing a Kissan convention organised by the District Kisan Board here at village Dherakan, he termed farmers backbone of the national economy, saying they work hard to produce food for the nation. He regretted that the farmers are forced to buy agriculture inputs at higher rates and sell the agriculture produce on government fixed lower rates which causes colossal loss to them. He said that the successive governments had completely neglected agriculture sector which resulted in deterioration of the irrigation system. He said that Pakistan has been blessed with rivers but their water falls into sea because the government has not constructed dams for storage of water.

“In rainy seasons, floods damage crops and villages in low-lying areas of the country as the water cannot be stored due to shortage of dams in the country,” he regretted, adding people of flood-hit areas also suffer colossal loss of their crops, cattle and houses. He criticised the rulers for spending all funds on roads and metro like projects in major cities, saying they have completely neglected ruler areas of the country. “They are those who used to claim to get the Pakistan rid of economic crisis but contrary to their claims, they have put a huge burden of loans amounting to $23,000 on the nation,” he said. Besides, there is no social and legal justice for the farmers and they suffer at the hands of officials whenever they visit the agriculture offices for relief, he added. He said that the rural areas also lack the basic medical and educational facilities which call the rulers’ claims regarding betterment in these sectors into question.

Mr Baloch pointed out that the incumbent government has broken all records of corruption in history of the country, adding to enhance their family business; they have put the national economy on risk. He urged the government to look into the matter and address the problems being faced by the farmers. He warned to stage massive protests otherwise.

On the occasion, he also showered leadership of the Kissan Board with praise for fighting for rights of farmers and development of the agriculture sector.

He urged rulers to take notice of deteriorating economic condition of the farming community and formulate farmers’ friendly policies to make the country self-sufficient in food production. He also criticized the government for closing Phalia Sugar Mills and demanded to make it operational. Keeping the increased production of sugar cane in view, it is beyond capacity of the Shahtaj Surgar Mills to crush sugarcane that arrives in the mills on daily basis. Resultantly, sugarcane-laden tractor-trolleys are kept waiting in queues that extend to two to three kilometres on roads, he added.

Later, the convention expressed full support to operation Raddul Fasaad. The participants also paid glowing tributes to martyred SSP Zahid Gondal and other police officers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty in Lahore Charing Cross blast and other suicidal attacks across the country. District Council Chairman Ch Ghulam Hussain and Kissan Board office-bearers also spoke on the occasion.