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

UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...
Post-flood economy
Updated 24 Sep, 2022

Post-flood economy

WITH a third of the country — especially Sindh and Balochistan — under water, over 33m people displaced, and...
Panadol shortage
24 Sep, 2022

Panadol shortage

FROM headaches to fever to bodily pain — paracetamol is used ubiquitously in Pakistan as the go-to remedy for most...
Star-struck cops
24 Sep, 2022

Star-struck cops

IN this age of selfies and social media, it is easy to get carried away in the presence of famous people, even if ...