SWABI: Kisan Board, a wing of farmers affiliated with Jamaat-i-Islami, here on Friday staged a protest demonstration and blockedthe Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway for about two hours to traffic against the imposition of Rs390 tax on per kilogramme of tobacco by the federalgovernment.

The protesters gathered in the district headquarters, marched to the motorway in a procession and blocked it near the Swabi interchange. They were holding banners inscribed with slogans against the imposition of tax on the farmers.

A heavy contingent of police and officials of the district administration soon reached the motorway to open it to traffic. During talks, the district administration team was led by assistant deputy commissioner Gohar Ali and the farmers’ team by KB provincial president Rizwanullah.

The administration officials told the KB leaders that the tax was imposed by the federal government and they would pass the farmers’ demands to it. However,they said the issues related to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would be resolved.

The issue of provision of financial assistance to the flood-affected farmers would be resolved so they could buy fertiliser and wheat seed.

They said that the farmers should wait till Monday for the response of the federal government. The farmers’ team agreed, but stressed on provision of financial assistance as soon as possible.

Later, Rizwanullah told mediapersons that if the federal government did not withdraw the tax they would stage a sit-in in front of the National Assembly.

CHARAS SEIZED: The police seized over three kilogrammes of charas and arms and arrested three suspects during an operation in Chota Lahor here on Friday.

District police officer Mohammad Shoaib said that during the operation they recovered 3.14 kilogrammes of charas, one Kalashnikov, one rifle and two pistols. Cases have been registered against the three suspects.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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