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Sunday October 24, 2021

Swabi tobacco growers end protest

September 28, 2021
Swabi tobacco growers end protest

SWABI: The tobacco growers staged rallies across the district and blocked the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway on the fifth day of their protest drive on Monday.

The drive was launched on the call of Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan and the Ittehad Kashtkaran on Wednesday last to protest the alleged delaying tactics employed by the cigarette-manufacturing companies to purchase their surplus produce. Led by Arif Khan, Liaqat Khan Yousafzai, Mohammad Ali Dagiwal, Faiq Said Bacha of Kissan Board, Ahmad Khan of Marguz, Asfandyar of Sarhad Chamber of Agriculture, Syed Inayat Ali Shah Bacha, a large number of tobacco farmers attended the rallies. Leaders of various unions and farmers spoke on the occasion, saying that they had launched the campaign for the rights of the growers.

The growers launched a march from Yar Hussain and proceeded to Roshanpura where they staged sit-ins outside the tobacco companies. The speakers flayed the companies and Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB) after accusing them of exploiting growers and supporting the tobacco tycoons.

The protesting farmers then headed to the Swabi city, the district headquarters, and gathered at the main chowk. Chanting slogans against the companies and the government, the speakers said that the rulers had adopted an indifferent attitude towards their issues.

After speeches, the enraged farmers went to the Swabi Interchange andblocked the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway for half an hour. Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Swabi, Gohar Khan, rushed to the spots and held talks with the leaders of tobacco growers.

The farmers reopened the motorway after the ADC showed a notification that all companies would purchase five million kilogram surplus tobacco produce. A meeting of officials of companies, PTB and the farmers’ leaders would be held at the Tobacco Research Station in Khangarhi in Mardan where the quota would be distributed to the companies.