SWABI: Differences have surfaced in the ranks of tobacco growers’ leaders over giving crop status to tobacco three days after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf held a convention of the farmers in Swabi where announcement in this regard was made.

It was pledged in the convention that the federal government would give crop status to tobacco.

Sources said besides others the convention was also addressed by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, minister for national food security Syed Fakhar Imam, provincial minister Shahram Tarakai and officials of agriculture department.

Sources said the union leaders and especially Kisan Board and KP’s Anjuman-i-Kashthkaran (AK) opposed giving crop status to tobacco and considered it a conspiracy of the buyers.

When contacted, Alam Sher Gohati, AK’s provincial general secretary, said if crop status was given to tobacco it would be procured by the buyers at throwaway prices and no law would be there to regulate the purchasing process.

Kisan Board leaders said in case of crop status the growers would be left at the mercy of buyers because the tobacco marketing law MLO-487 would become invalid.

When contacted, KB’s district president Khalid Khan said that according to tobacco marketing law the price of tobacco in the current year would be more than the previous years, which benefited the growers.

However, Kashthkar Coordination Council leaders supported the move and crop status for tobacco.

BODY RECOVERED: Police recovered a beheaded body of a man from Pehur High Level Canal while two persons were killed in different incidents here on Wednesday.

SHO Farooq Khan said the body had been handed over to the tehsil municipal administration for burial. He said the deceased whose age was about 50 had been killed a few days ago.

Also in the day, 16-year-old Mohammad Sohaib, son of Maulana Abdul Hai, was killed and his other colleague was injured when their motorcycle was hit by a tractor trolley near Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway.

A seven-year-old daughter of one Irfan Ali died after she was hit by a truck in Parmuli village.

In another incident, Mohammad Naeem advocate was injured when his rivals opened fire on him. The cause of the incident was stated to be an old enmity.

Published in Dawn, October 1st , 2020