LARKANA: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali has lashed out at “flawed” policies of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, which he believes, have dealt a serious blow to agriculture sector of the country in general and Sindh in particular and further deepened economic crisis.

He said at a large tractor-trolley rally at Marri Chowk here on Friday that the Pakistan Peoples Party workers must take a united stand to force present inefficient rulers to pack and go home.

The PPP activists had assembled at the venue in response to the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s call for holding protest against shortage of fertiliser, hike in price of oil, gas, rising figures of unemployment and economic instability that had been caused by this inefficient government, he said.

He said that common man, peasants and labourers were braving difficult times under this government. They could barely arrange two times meal for their families, he said. “Initially, we learnt about shortage of wheat in the country and wondered where the grain had gone but later a federal minister disclosed huge wheat stocks valued at Rs60 million had gone missing,” he said.

He said that this government had only triggered shortages of essential commodities. First, the country witnessed shortage of wheat and sugar and then artificial shortage of fertilisers hit the farm sector. The federal government was to blame for the recurring shortages as it had sold out wheat, sugar and fertilisers at the lowest rate and later purchased the commodities at higher rate, while passing on the burden to poor countrymen, he said.

He called agriculture sector backbone of national economy and said the centre’s flawed policies had proved extremely damaging for the farms sector. It had resulted in further deepening the economic crisis, he said.

There was no shortage of wheat, sugar and fertiliser during the PPP government hence no crisis but now the PTI government was artificially creating shortages by allowing transporting the commodities out of the country, he said.

He asked the protesters to bear witness to the facts about lingering shortage of commodities and price hike under PTI rule. The poor were being ground between two millstones while the government was beating the drums to rejoice over unverifiable reports about “economic growth”, he said.

He invited the federal government representatives to visit Sindh and witness personally the plight of the poor. “Our currency has gone down further even against Bangladeshi currency,” he said.

He said the “massive” number of workers at the gathering spoke volumes for peoples’ determination to stand firm against the present, inept government and said he was confident these workers would definitely march towards Islamabad to send the PTI government packing on Feb 27 as per announcement of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

He vowed to march forward with the help of people’s collective strength and said that PPP had always served people whenever it had come to power.

He said that present government had broken the back of people with compound taxes and made them to barely subsist under the heavy burden of taxes.

Sindh Minister for Local Bodies Syed Nasir Shah, PPP Larkana’s divisional president Aijaz Ahmed Jakhrani, PPP Larkana’s district president MNA Khrsheed Junejo, political secretary to Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari Jamil Soomro, MPA Suhail Anwer Siyal, MPA Burhan Khan Chandio, PPP Larkana’s general secretary Aijaz Leghari and other local leaders slammed the PTI government’s poor performance and anti-people policies. The PPP would continue to hold rallies till the day of the long march on Feb 27, they said.

Meanwhile, the chief minister took a ride on a traditional bull-cart after concluding his speech.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2022

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