Farmers’ package reflects CM Maryam’s double standards: JI

Published May 17, 2024
Farmers protest under the banner of the Jamaat-i-Islami on The Mall in favour of their demands. — White Star
Farmers protest under the banner of the Jamaat-i-Islami on The Mall in favour of their demands. — White Star

LAHORE: Jamaat-i-Islami emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman on Thursday criticised the Punjab government’s package for farmers, terming it a reflection of double standards as on the one hand, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz has refused to procure wheat, citing emptiness of the provincial exchequer while on the other hand, announced a superficial package.

Addressing the farmers’ march outside the CM House on Thursday, he feared that the proposed Rs400bn package would fall prey to corruption, asserting that the JI would not allow such misuse of funds.

He emphasised the need for peaceful resistance to combat the mafia ruling the nation.

Mr Rehman announced that the JI would collect data of the farmers’ loss and recover the money from the rulers.

Questioning the current government’s legitimacy due to electoral fraud, he urged the chief justice to address the issue of election rigging.

Highlighting the concentration of land ownership among the small feudal elite, the JI chief argued that Pakistan was not founded to perpetuate feudal and landowning interests and branded the parties like the PPP and PML-N as dynastic entities representing corrupt capitalists.

He said the so-called mainstream parties came to power with the backing of the establishment.

Regarding the Dubai leaks scandal, Rehman accused the elite of amassing wealth abroad while governing Pakistan, calling for transparency regarding their foreign assets and demanding accountability from politicians, bureaucrats and military officials.

He condemned the detention of farmers from various districts as a shameful attempt by the authorities to suppress dissenting voices.

The JI chief affirmed solidarity with the people and commitment to peaceful resistance, announcing that the JI Majlis-e-Shura would meet on May 25 to devise a strategy for mass mobilisation.

He reiterated the call for a thorough investigation into the billion-dollar wheat import scandal during the caretaker government’s tenure, criticising successive governments, including the current one, for aligning their policies with the IMF directives.

Meanwhile, a large number of farmers under the banner of JI and JI Kissan held a protest march from Masjid-e-Shuhadato CM House in favour of their demands.

JI leaders, including Liaqat Baloch and Ameerul Azim, participated in the march.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2024

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