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Farmers protesting in Islamabad threaten shutdown in Pakistan if demands not met

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2022 22:24 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 2 (ANI): Pakistan's Kissan Ittehad has threatened the Shehbaz Sharif government with a nationwide shutdown if the demands of the farmers protesting in Islamabad are not fulfilled by Monday.
Speaking at the event, Kissan Ittehad chairman Khalid Hussain Batth asked the government to issue a notification after accepting the farmers' demands, reported ARY News.
He said, otherwise, the protesting farmers would shut down the whole country. A herd of millions of farmers will head towards Islamabad on his call if the government does not issue a notification to fulfil their demands, he added.
Kissan Ittehad protestors hinted at lodging sit-ins outside the parliament and Bani Gala if their demands are not fulfilled by Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governments, reported ARY News.
The protest of farmers against the electricity tariff reduction and other economic issues entered its fifth day on Sunday. However, no progress has been made in the talks between the federal administration and the farmers who are in protest.
The farmers have given the federal government a deadline of Monday to meet their demands.
The government of Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister, and the leaders of the farmers held discussions but were unable to break the impasse. Sanaullah termed the farmers' protest without any justification, reported ARY News.
A deadlock between the government and the protesting farmers continued as another round of talks ended without any result. "The farmers' leaders were informed about the situation in a meeting," the interior minister said.
"The government is serious over legitimate demands of the farmers and has already accepted postponement of the payments of tube well bills," he said. "A notification to this respect has already been issued, protest over the matter is unjustified," Sanaullah added.
"Protest is impermissible in Red Zone by farmers, any other group or party," the minister said.
He warned that the law will come into motion against those marching on the Red Zone. "The Supreme Court (SC) has clearly ruled against any protest in the Red Zone," he added.

The protest started on Friday when more than 25,000 Punjab farmers held the demonstration under the umbrella of the Pakistani farmer association, Kisan Ittehad, reported Dawn.
As the protests gained momentum in the capital, the Islamabad police imposed section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Kisan Ittihad Union, their representative group, gave the government a deadline of today at 11 am to fulfil their demands.
Kisan Ittihad Union Chairman Khalid Butt had stated, "I have taken time from the Union tonight," and added that the farmers will go and commit suicide in front of the Parliament Building the next day.
This protest was part of a series of protests that the farmers have been holding in different parts of Pakistan including near Banigala.
Among the many demands that the farmers have include the restoration of the previous tubewell electricity tariff of Rs 5.3 per unit and abolishing of all taxes and adjustments, an end to the black marketing of fertilisers and reduction of urea rate which increased 400pc.
Apart from these demands they also said that the rate of wheat should be fixed at Rs 2,400 per mound and the rate of sugar cane at Rs 280 per mound, reported Dawn citing police.
Besides, the farmers also demanded that the blockade of canals should be removed and water released immediately in the area. Moreover, they said, agriculture should also be given the status of an industry.
In a bid to contain the growing protests, the Islamabad police sealed some areas by putting containers on roads, the outlet said citing police and adding that the interchanges and roads adjacent to Islamabad Expressway were also sealed with containers.
Over 2,500 farmers travelling on 40 buses, 29 coasters, six wagons, 11 Sports Utility Vehicles and 18 cars reached Jinnah Avenue. Islamabad Police sealed all entry points of the Red Zone except Margalla Road.
Restricted and regulated entry was given to people on Margalla Road. After reaching Jinnah Avenue underpass/interchange, protesters staged a sit-in there till the filing of the report.
The police tried to reach a negotiation with the protesting farmers however, the farmers' leaders refused to deal with the police and continued voicing their demands. The farmer said that it is ministries or politicians who should negotiate with the protestors and not the police. (ANI)