Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has condemned registration of terrorism cases against the tenants on the farmlands in Okara for refusing to give up their proprietary rights and demanded withdrawal of the cases. Bilawal hailed the heroic struggle waged by the tenants on the farmlands in Okara and said that the party will fully support them.
He said this during a meeting with a delegation of Anjuman Mazareen Punjab who called on him at Zardari house Islamabad on Friday. The delegation included Chairman Okara tenants Chaudhry Liaqat Ali, President Okara tenants Mian Khushi Mohammad, Vice President Okara tenants Haji Ghulam Hussain, Shahzad Shafi and Iftikhar Shakir. Former MNA from Okara Sajjadul Hasan and political secretary to Chairman PPP Jamil Soomro was also present on the occasion.
Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the chairman PPP condemned the registration of terrorism cases against the tenants and said the National Action Plan (NAP) and anti-terror laws are meant to crush militants and are not for grabbing land that belongs to the tenants who have been tilling for ages and has never belonged to security forces.
He said that the property rights of tenants was an old issue and recalled that over a decade ago the PPP took up the issue in the Human Rights Committee of the Senate which called for an end to the victimisation of tenants.
It also said that since the land belonged to Punjab it was the responsibility of the provincial government to step in forcefully and effectively in resolving the land ownership dispute and protecting the rights of tenants.
The Senate report had also lamented the massive Human Rights violations of the tenants and the filing of false cases against them and recommended that the investigations into cases should be entrusted to agencies outside Okara. But within days of the Senate body’s recommendations another offensive was launched against the tenants, he said.
He said that he will ask the PPP parliamentarians to raise the issue of implementation of the Parliament’s recommendations regarding Okara farmlands as well as the issue of propriety rights to the tenants.
The chairman PPP demanded a bipartisan parliamentary probe into the barbaric incidents of torture of tenants. He said that he was shocked beyond measure that the security forces continued with atrocities against farmers in the Punjab with impunity because they refused to sign contracts to cede their land rights against the law.
Earlier, PPP Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the affected people of Okara farmlands are struggling for their rights and their forefathers are living and cultivate on the lands. He said that protest is democratic right of these people.
He said that Punjab government has arrested 17 people including women of Okara farmlands and they demand of the government to release them immediately. He said Bilawal asked Latif Khosa to provide legal assistance to the people. He said that the PPP stands with these people and would raise their voice in and out of the Parliament.
Source: Business Recorder