ISLAMABAD: Representatives of farmers on Tuesday called off their nearly week-long demonstrations in Islamabad over electricity tariffs and taxes after a breakthrough was reached with the federal government of Pakistan.
The Kissan Ittehad, comprising farmers from across Punjab, has been protesting in Islamabad since last week, demanding the restoration of a previous tube well electricity tariff of Rs5.3 per unit and the removal of taxes and adjustments, among other things. The protests had led to road closures in the capital and long traffic jams.
At a media talk with Pakistani Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Kissan Ittehad Chairman Khalid Butt called off the protest.
“Farmers are our guests, we sat with them and solved their problems,” Sanaullah said on Twitter after the negotiations. “Will also resolve their demands in an adequate way. A committee of ministers has been formed for implementation of their demands.”
The farmers’ demands include being allowed to pay power bills in instalments and the cancelation of fuel adjustment charges.
Sanaullah said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would announce a package for farmers within 10 days.
“It is our philosophy that Pakistan will be prosperous when farmers are prosperous,” the minister told media. “So we will consider all things in a better manner and solve these problems.”
“It is our responsibility to solve your demands and we will do it,” Sanaullah added.