KARACHI-Additional Chief Secretary Food Muhammad Naseer Jamali has claimed that there is no shortage of the wheat in Karachi.

“Flour is available at cheapest rate in Karachi as compared to other parts of Pakistan while only hoarders were being raided,” he said while addressing a press conference at regional office here on Monday. He informed that 78 flour mills are operating in Karachi and government has taken effective measures to halt the illegal movement of wheat. The vehicles having incomplete document were being stopped at Kathore Check post.

He further said that certain flour mills, which were going on strike, were trying to blackmail government. However, he said, the government will not bow down before them, adding that the doors were open for everyone for dialogue.

On this occasion, the owners of various flour mills including Akbar Ali, Abrar Ali Siddiqui, Kashif Abrar and Adnan Siddiqui said that mostly flour mills in Karachi are not going on strike and there will be no effect if some flour mills go on strike.

Meanwhile, a special team of food department raided Tando Adam Sindh Agro Cotton, Muhammadi Cotton Factory and Dada Cotton Factory Jhol Road and confiscated almost 22000 wheat bags which were illegally stored there. Minister for Food Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar has said that Sindh Food Department shall not come into blackmailing of certain flour mills and all efforts shall be made to provide relief to the people.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Flour Mills Association chairman Mian Muhammad Riaz has announced that flour mills in the Karachi and southern region of the country will stop working to lodge protest against the ministry concerned of Sindh.

He said that traders of wheat have been targeted for bribe and extortion by the government officials and police in the provincial border of Sindh and Punjab, which provoked them to keep their mills shut. He said the government will be held responsible for any shortage of flour in Karachi because the wheat is transported to the mega city from different cities of Punjab, from where the traders are reluctant to dispatch their consignment further.

Riaz added that supplies of wheat to different cities of Balochistan have been halted many times by corrupt officials of the government and police.

He said the flour millers will further record their protest against corrupt officials until the government does not intervene and protect wheat traders from police and extortionists.