HYDERABAD, Dec 5: Hari leaders and agriculture experts have stressed the need for comprehensive amendments to the Sindh Tenancy Act 1950 as according to them it has become irrelevant and outdated.
The made these observations at the Sindh Hari Convention held here under the aegis of the South Asia Partnership Pakistan.
The convention decided to organize a long march up to the Sindh assembly in support of their demands
Rights activists Rochi Ram Advocate stressed the need for massive changes in the tenancy act. He called for formulation of a new Hari policy to protect the rights of the tillers.
He was of the view that the act in question could no longer meet the requirements of the 21st century.
Karamat Ali said that it was high time the government considered the problems of the workers and the haris seriously.
He pointed out that the rulers had made many promises with the peasants and the workers and added that the present government was now in a position to improve the lot of peasants and workers who were living in abject poverty.
The deputy director of the South Asia Partnership, Irfan Mufti, said that the feudal system had entrenched itself for centuries and it was high time for the present government to do away with this outdated system.
He recalled that since the inception of Pakistan three land commissions had been constituted but nothing came out of their recommendations as a result of which the feudal system had further strengthened. He said even in this 21st century, tillers of the land had been deprived of their due rights.
PPP MPA Farheen Mughal said that her party was quite sincere in ameliorating the lot of the peasants and workers and it would certainly make laws to protect their rights.
The president of the Hari Porhiyat Council, Punhal Sario, said that the Sindh Tenancy Act, which was passed in 1950, had become totally outdated and needed massive amendments.
He said that the peasantry was performing a leading role in the development of the national economy but it was not receiving anything in return.
He demanded that the rights of the working class should be safeguarded through fresh legislation.
Comrade Hussain Bux Thebo Advocate said that tillers of the land were the true owners of the country but no government had ever recognized the fact. The peasants and workers had never been included in any government development programme, he said.
Jami Chandio said that the peasantry and the workers were living below the poverty line but the government had totally remained indifferent to their plight.
He said it should not be forgotten that the working class was the real producer of goods and services. He urged the government to honour its election promises and stressed the need for abolishing the feudal system.
The chairman of the Fisherfolk Forum Pakistan, Syed Mohammad Ali Shah, said that since the inception of Pakistan, feudal class had ruled the country and that was the main reason that the peasants and the workers had not only been denied their human rights but they had also been subjected to inhuman atrocities.
He was sceptical that the present government would take any tangible steps to improve the lot of the working class because this government also comprised of feudal lords.
He said that the working class and the peasants would have to unite on a single platform to protect their rights.
SAP leader Zulfiqar Shah announced that a long march would be organized soon to pressurize the government for bringing about peasant friendly amendments to the Sindh Tenancy Act.
A large number of haris from all across the province attended the convention.