Talks between protesting farmers, govt successful

Published September 22, 2022
This photo from Wednesday night shows Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the farmer's protest at Islamabad's F-9 park, where the PTI claims he was intercepted by police. — Photo courtesy Shah Mahmood Qureshi's Twitter
This photo from Wednesday night shows Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the farmer's protest at Islamabad's F-9 park, where the PTI claims he was intercepted by police. — Photo courtesy Shah Mahmood Qureshi's Twitter

ISLAMABAD: In a late night development, talks between representatives of Kissan Ittehad and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah remained successful after which the farmers called off their protest.

The farmers were agitating against the increase in utility bills, taxes and urea price.

In a press note issued late Wednesday night, negotiations between representatives of Kissan Ittehad and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah took place at 8:30pm at the minister’s official residence.

Negotiations remained successful and the farmers’ representatives agreed to call off their protest on the condition that a meeting would be arranged between them and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his return.

Rana Sanaullah thanked the farmers for honouring their commitment and calling off the protest. A meeting of Kissan Ittehad representatives with the prime minister will now be held on Sept 28.

Kissan Ittehad representatives to meet PM on Sept 28; Red Zone had been partially sealed

Earlier, the capital police had partially sealed the Red Zone after farmers from Punjab started reaching F-9 Park to protest against the increase in utility bills, taxes and urea price.

All entry points of the Red Zone, except Margalla Road and Khayaban-i-Suhrawardi, were sealed with containers and barbed wires, the officials said.

Besides, well-equipped contingent of police was deployed there as well as at the two open points, with directives that only officials and people who either lived in the area or worked there would be allowed to enter.

In a statement which was posted on the capital police’s official twitter account, some people reached Islamabad from Punjab which was why security at the Red Zone had been further strengthened. Besides police have been deployed at the Red Zone’s entry and exit points, it added.

The police also announced that Section 144 had been imposed in Islamabad and those who violated it would be dealt with according to law.

Farmers started reaching the federal capital from different parts of Punjab in caravans, rallies and groups and assembled at F-9 Park. Massive traffic jams were seen on roads adjacent to the park.

Officials of the capital administration and police also reached the park while police personnel were deployed in and around the park to maintain law and order.

Till the evening, the farmers’ numbers swelled over 1,500, the officials said, adding that talks were being held with them. A police official said farmers had given a deadline to the negotiators and said they would march on the Red Zone if their demands were not met.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the capital police intercepted the party’s vice chairman, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, when he reached F-9 Park to participate in the farmers’ protest. In another statement, the party said Mr Qureshi was surrounded by the police and was prevented from joining the protest.

“It is against fundamental rights of free protest,” Mr Qureshi said, adding that, “how many more voices will the imported government suppress”.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

The Musharraf enigma
Updated 06 Feb, 2023

The Musharraf enigma

The Musharraf era holds numerous lessons for Pakistan’s ruling elite, civilian and military.
Staying neutral
06 Feb, 2023

Staying neutral

THE Election Commission of Pakistan has what is perhaps one of the most thankless jobs in the country. The countless...
Wikipedia ban
06 Feb, 2023

Wikipedia ban

THE country was back in a familiar, dark place last week when the PTA blocked Wikipedia over the charge that it...
IMF’s firm stance
Updated 05 Feb, 2023

IMF’s firm stance

Pakistan needs to complete the review to stave off a default as well as to unlock inflows from other multilateral and bilateral lenders.
Grotesque bigotry
05 Feb, 2023

Grotesque bigotry

FREEDOM to profess one’s faith is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. However, for the country’s Ahmadi...
Kashmir reflections
05 Feb, 2023

Kashmir reflections

ASIDE from Kashmir Day, which the nation is observing today as an official holiday, there are a number of other days...