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KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Sindh chapter president and member of the National Assembly Dr Arif Alvi has said the announcement of starting of crushing season in Sindh is his party’s victory and they will again protest if official rates are not offered to farmers by sugar mill owners.

He was speaking to the media at the Karachi Press Club with Haleem Adil Sheikh, Firdaus Shamim Naqvi and others on Thursday.

Dr Alvi condemned the brutal use of force to disperse peaceful participants in the rally taken out from Hyderabad.

Says 19 sugar mills in Sindh owned by Asif Zardari

“There is no democracy is Sindh but the rule of brutality,” he said. “The Sindh government set up police pickets at 14 different places to stop the rally from coming to Karachi and used violence. The participants were tortured at a number of places.”

The MNA pointed out that when the participants in the rally tried to proceed to the CM House after reaching Karachi to present their charter of demands, the police not only stopped them but also used water cannons and arrested PTI leaders and workers, including Haleem Adil Sheikh, and Naeem Adil Sheikh. He said the PTI was the party of the oppressed people of Sindh and would always stand by them in their just struggle for their rights.

Haleem Adil Sheikh said the federal and Sindh governments exploited sugar cane growers every year.

He said 19 sugar mills in Sindh belonged to former president Zardari and that was why the provincial government was supporting the sugar mill ‘mafia’.

Mr Sheikh further said the PTI would launch a province-wide movement if the growers were not offered the official rate.

He added that the Sindh government had deprived the people of their fundamental rights of food, shelter and clothing, and the ruling elites were busy in encroaching upon forest lands and committing corruption.

Mr Sheikh said the sugar cane crop was harvested in October but the growers were still protesting and the government had failed to give them any relief.

He expressed the hope that the next government in Sindh would be formed by the PTI.

Firdaus Shamim Naqvi said the PTI would not leave the growers alone and would fight for their cause at every forum.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2018