Hypocrisy thy name is PML-N. While a cricket match between India and Pakistan has been transformed into a frenzy by the corporate media, the clueless leaders are of course not lagging behind in this race to earn short lived fame at the expense of the resources which belong to the public. The hypocrisy of attitude is most evident in PML-N’s (Punjab Government) attitude towards poor, landless farmers of the Punjab in contrast to the lavish offer of free land to members of the Pakistan Cricket Team.
In response to the failed negotiations by Mazarine with Chief Minister Punjab, Anjuman Mazarine Punjab-AMP and GCAP-Pakistan have led a long march from Khanewal District to Lahore for the demanding of tenant and farmer land rights. The tenants have been campaigning for their rights for the last ten years.
KHANEWAL, March 9: Backing out of the agreement reached during Monday’s meeting at Circuit House between the Khanewal chapter of Anjuman-i-Mozareen Punjab (AMP) and chief minister’s team, scores of tenants along with their families on Tuesday started a long march towards Lahore from Perowal agriculture farms.
- Source: awazcds.org.pk
Carrying clubs, banners and red-flags, tenants were riding a number of tractor-trolleys and some other vehicles while PPP MPA Amina Buttor joined the gathering at Roberts Farms and Punjab Seed Corporation land near Perowal.
“President Asif Ali Zardari has asked me to join the long march, which is not against the PML-N or the PPP governments. It is the march to raise the voice of tenants to get their rights for which they have been struggling for the last 100 years,” Amina commented while talking to this correspondent as soon as the procession approached the main GT Road.
On Khanewal-Mian Channu dual carriageway, the district administration did not create any hurdle, allowing the protesters to proceed further. The administration diverted traffic to Kabirwala-Jhang Road, and Mian Channu-Abdul Hakim Road and even asked the Khanewal toll plaza employees to leave their cabins closed. The protesters were raising slogans against Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif for not fulfilling their demand for giving them ownership rights.
As soon as the procession reached near Sidhnai-Mailsi Link Canal (SMLC) near Katcha Khu town, about 30-km from here, the protesters found the entire road blocked by containers. Exchange of harsh words took place between the police and angry marchers. The police however did not allow the marchers to proceed further.
- Source: awazcds.org.pk
“We will not allow them to move forward as per the government instructions. The law and order situation in Lahore is already fragile and by-elections are scheduled for March 10. It may cause a severe law and order situation if the marchers succeeded in reaching the provincial capital,” Multan Commissioner Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi told Dawn during his presence at the district headquarters.
Gardezi said he was also present in Monday’s meeting where the AMP leaders had agreed to withdraw the long march call, allowing the CM’s team to issue a press release to the effect.
Khanewal DPO Muhammad Kamran Khan said the AMP leaders had violated the agreement after an assurance from Punjab Minister Kamran Micheal and Chief Minister’s Adviser Raja Ashfaq Sarwar about solution to their problems within a week. “But I don’t know why did they back out of the agreement and started the march against the Punjab government, which really seemed interested in fulfilling their demands,” the DPO said.
- Source: awazcds.org.pk
He said the government had ordered the administration to stop the long march at the SMLC on GT Road as their leaders were negotiating with the high-ups in Lahore.
Till the filing of the report at 11pm, the protesters along with family members were sitting in tractor-trolleys on main GT Road, raising slogans against the Punjab government.
Sources told Dawn that Ms Buttor reached Khanewal at about 2100 hrs on Monday, three hours after the meeting between the AMP and CM’s team had concluded.
Sources said when she came to know about the withdrawal of the long march call by the AMP leaders, she rushed to the village and advised the AMP leaders to start the long march as per scheduled date (March 9).
“There was no decision regarding the withdrawal of the long march call by the AMP. The Anjuman leaders had asked the CM’s team to give two hours so as to take the protesters into confidence before withdrawing the call,” commented Amina Buttor while talking to Dawn.
She said she didn’t instigate anyone to carry on the march against the Punjab government, as the AMP was at liberty to postpone or start the march. She said she had discussed the matter with the AMP leaders who told her that the CM’s team didn’t wait for two hours regarding the withdrawal of the call and released the news to the media on its own without consulting the AMP leaders.
She said Khanewal DPO had misbehaved with her when the long march was stopped at the SMLC.
She said she had reported the matter to the presidency on which President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar advised her to be peaceful and avoid any conflict with the local administration.
Pakistan Mazdoor Mahaz (PMM) secretary general Chaudhry Shaukat told Dawn though some of the AMP leaders, including Dr Christopher, had agreed with the CM’s team to withdraw the long march call, he himself and some others had sought two hours time and a written agreement about the assurance so as to take protesters into confidence. He rejected claims of CM’s team and the district administration regarding the withdrawal of the long march call.
Local PPP activist Aamir Hussaini said that some of the AMP leaders supporting the Punjab government had withdrawn the long march call during that meeting.