ISLAMABAD: Police block Jinnah Avenue during a sit-in by farmers on Thursday.—Mohammad Asim / White Star
ISLAMABAD: Police block Jinnah Avenue during a sit-in by farmers on Thursday.—Mohammad Asim / White Star

ISLAMABAD: As the farmers’ protest in the federal capital entered its second day on Thursday, the government entered into negotiations with the protesters and asked them to call off their sit-in and go back to their homes.

The talks between the Kissan Ittehad came after the farmers who were present at the Khayaban interchange intended to move towards the Red Zone to stage a sit-in till the acceptance of their demands, said police and administration officials.

A delegation of the farmers visited the residence of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah. During the meeting, Kissan Ittehad presented its demands and Mr Sanaullah assured them the government would resolve their issues.

The delegation asked the government to defer the bills and revise the power tariff. They also demanded a reduction in electricity bills, as expensive electricity was affecting agriculture, according to officials familiar with the meeting. They added that the minister sought time from the Kissan leaders, saying that a decision over their demands may take a day or two, and requested them to call off the protest.

After meeting the minister, the delegation returned to the protest site and joined the sit-in, the officials said.

Meanwhile, the Red Zone remained partially sealed for the second day. Entry to the Red Zone was allowed from Mar­galla Road and Khay­aban-i-Suharwardy only, the officials said, adding that Faisal Avenue was closed to the public from the pedestrian bridge near the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited to the Khayaban interchange.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022

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