PKI warns nationwide protest strike against converting of NARC land into housing society

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ISLAMABAD: - Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan addressing during meeting of executive members at a local hotel.

ISLAMABAD, Aug 2: The Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) has warned the government of nation-wide protest strike if it does not turn down the summary moved by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for converting the agriculture research land of National Agriculture Research Center (NARC) into housing society, says in press release.
“We will wait until July end, and if the government does not reject the CDA summary, the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) will launch nationwide protest strike and hold demonstrations in front of Prime Minister house and in all the provincial assemblies in the first week of August,” President PKI, Khalid Mehmood Khokhar announced during a press conference.
He was flanked by Secretary General PKI, Mian Umair, PKI District Presidents Captain Muhammad Hussain and Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmad, President PARC Scientists Association, Dr. Altaf Sher, President PARC Officers Association, Sardar Ghulam Mustafa and President Employees Association of PARC Chaudhary Muhammad Jahangir.
He said that PKI will protect the interests of agriculture sector for the larger interests of the nation and would come on the streets and roads throughout the country to defend the NARC against land mafia.
“We will sacrifice our lives and shed our blood to defend national institutions like NARC,” he said and warned the government not to push the farming community against the wall, which would have catastrophic consequences.
For the larger national interest, the Itehad would not let the government to destroy this important asset as the destruction of NARC means destruction of agriculture and thereby the economy, he maintained.
He said that peace and prosperity in the country could be guaranteed with better economy and improvement in economy can only be ensured through development of agriculture sector, however deplored that agriculture is not the priority of the government.
As a premier agricultural research centre in the country its playing a pivotal role to provide the technical assistance and new innovations / technologies and so many new varieties to the farming community for promotion of agriculture sector in Pakistan.
He said that the moves like converting research land into housing society could only be expected from the enemies of the country as this is the only sector of the economy which not only feeds increasing population of the country but contributes a considerable share in the national GDP.
Citing example of neighboring country India where the agriculture inputs are considerably subsidized and the farmers are provide free electricity, he said that Pakistan agriculture sector is being neglected and the agriculture inputs have become unaffordable for the farmers to cultivate their lands.
The reason for all this is that the agriculture is not among the priorities of the government, he said and added that instead of facilitating development of agriculture sector, the government has now resorted to damaging practice of destroying existing national institutions that have been helping promote agriculture growth for decades.
Khokhar said that if the NARC is converted into housing society, it would be disastrous for future of the country. “So we will protest against the move to save agriculture sector,”
On the occasion, President PARC Scientists Association, Dr. Sher Altaf said that although population of the country has increased from 35 million to 200 million, there is no food crisis in the country owing to agriculture research.
He said that NARC was the national asset which took 40 long years to be established to this level and if it is shifted anywhere else, it would not reach to the level of current stage even in 100 years.
He said that the research conducted at the center saved billions of rupees of the national exchequer by introducing high-yielding and disease free varieties of crops and fruits, increasing milk and meat production besides developing and commercializing farm machinery.
It is due to NARC research, Pakistan became honey-exporting country. The center introduced canola and rid the country of bird-flue which resulted in lifting of ban on exports. Establishment of housing societies at the cost of educational and research institutions cannot be imagined even in the poorest world country. Being a nuclear power, the destruction of NARC would bring bad name for the country, he added.
He said the suggestion by CDA Chairman for earning mere Rs.130 billion by establishing housing society is embarrassing. If this is the case, then sale out President and Prime Minister houses, F-9 Park and all the grounds of the capital city would considerably earn more money than the NARC land.

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