LAHORE: The Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee has welcomed the removal of Jahangir Khan Tareen as ‘de facto’ chairman of Pakistan Agriculture Task Force for what it says guiding the national agriculture towards disaster.

Referring to Mr Tareen’s claim that there was no notification for his post, the committee said in a statement that it was obvious he wielded the authority, whether lawful and constitutional or illegitimate, to guide agriculture policies in favour of the rich. “For the last 20 years, Mr Tareen relied and benefited on the public sector funds. He has not invested anything from his own pocket but used state money unlawfully, unconstitutionally, or otherwise illegitimate means to build his corporate farming empire over thousands of acres of land,” it alleges.

Committee’s general secretary Farooq Tariq alleged that Mr Tareen was guilty of forcibly evacuating thousands of small farmers and peasants from 18,500 acres of sugarcane growing land.

He said that Mr Tareen is main beneficiary of sugar scandal where he allegedly used his de facto position as chairman of the agriculture task force to dictate policies at the Economic Advisory Committee.

He demanded that Mr Tareen should be arrested and investigated for loot and plunder of state assets.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2020