SWABI: Leaders of various associations of tobacco growers here said on Tuesday they would launch a campaign against the closure of the purchasing centre of a multinational tobacco company in Swabi tehsil.

The Pakistan Tobacco Company’s tobacco buying centre at Firdousabad, Charbagh, has been closed, creating unrest among the cultivators of Swabi tehsil and Razaar tehsil.

Kasthkar Coordination Council (KCC), Anjuman-i-Kashthkaran, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Tobacco Growers Association leaders told mediapersons that the centre’s closure would cause great financial losses to the growers while selling their produce.

Say Firdousabad centre was among the oldest in Swabi

It has been learnt that talks between the growers’ leaders and the company failed to produce any result while the company had distributed over 800 agreement-holders of the closed centre among Roshanpura (Razaar tehsil), Yar Hussain and Fujoon.

The growers said the Firdousabad centre was one of the oldest purchasing centres established soon after start of the tobacco cultivation in the region in British colonial period.

They said they would meet National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to apprise him of the unrest among the farmers, mostly belonging to his constituency.

One of insiders in the company told this scribe the multinational companies would soon leave the growers at the mercy of powerful tobacco entrepreneurs and national companies.

Answering a question, KCC general secretary Liaquat Yousafzai and other leaders called on the company to review its decision of closing the centre.

When contacted, an official of PTC said they would not conduct purchase in Rohsenpura, Razaar tehsil, and the centre they closed was on lease. He said with the passage of time the number of owners increased and now everyone had started demanding his/her share, forcing the company to move from there.

COMMITS SUICIDE: A poor man identified as Zahid Khan of Pandakhel area of the city allegedly committed suicide in Topi city here on Tuesday.

He reportedly hanged himself with the ceiling fan and ended his life.

In another incident, a man identified as Rehmat Ali was killed in Jalsai village over a trivial issue. Registering an FIR in Chota Lahor police station, his brother said Rehmat Ali had exchanged hot words with one Navaiz Khan of the same area who allegedly opened fire on him.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2021



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