Farmers continue protest in Capital, warn March on Red Zone

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The protest of farmers in Islamabad who have gathered under the umbrella of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad continued on Friday that entered the third day.
The farmers are demanding the restoration of the previous tubewell electricity tariff of Rs5.3 per unit and abolishing all taxes and adjustments.
The administration has summoned heavy contingents of police as the protesting farmers tried to march towards D-Chowk.
Several rounds of talks were held with the protesting farmers but remained unsuccessful.
The demonstrators demanded an end to the black marketing of fertilisers and reduction of the urea rate. They also demanded that agriculture should be given the status of industry.
The Kissan Ittehad has vowed to continue the protest till the fulfillment of demands, warning of staging a sit-in at D-Chowk.
Earlier, farmers led by Pakistan Kissan Ittehad staged a sit-in at Blue Area in Islamabad after the authorities barred them from protesting before the Parliament House.
As soon as the rally of the Kissan Ittehad reached Faizabad, the local administration asked them to stage a sit-in at F-9 Park.
However, the protesters insisted on moving towards Parliament House and later blocked Blue Area over refusal from authorities.
Last week, the farmers staged protest at F-9 park in Islamabad against the rise in electricity tariff and inflation and threatened to march toward Islamabad’s D-Chowk if their demands were not fulfilled.
They said that government needs to compensate for the damages caused by the recent rains. The protestors vowed to continue their protest till the fulfilment of their demands.
The protesting farmers have demanded to reduce the power tariff, regretting that the government had raised the electricity to Rs36 per unit. The demonstrators have also demanded subsidies on fertilizers and diesel, while taxes on agricultural machinery and tractors should be abolished.