Tenants at the government owned farms in Punjab
have not paid any share of crops this year to the different
government departments including military farms. The tenants
association of Punjab is demanding land ownership rights of the
land they are cultivating over 100 years. There are over 68000
acres of land cultivated by these tenants.
The military government tolerated this move of no payment till the
fraudulent referendum. On 5th May 2002, 15 peasants are arrested
in the village of chack 38 Kala Shah Kakoo by police. They have
been charged with breach of agreement and threatening behavior.
The decision to pay no more was taken in the village on 22nd April
in a public meeting organized by
Anjaman Mozareen Punjab AMP (tenants Association of Punjab).
Addressing the meeting various peasant leaders and I argued that
we have paid enough and will pay no more.
At present the crop of wheat is been cut and fifty per cent of
that was supposed to go the government farms administrations.
Across Punjab, one after another, majority of the tenants have now
refused to give half of the crops. This in fact meant a total
ownership by the peasantry.
In another incident, from 4th May, police have encircled seven
villages in the district Khanewal. But so for they have not been
able to enter in the village. The peasants and women are ready to
fight back. Both sides are preparing for a show off. Police who
are in hundreds are preparing to enter anytime in the village of
chack 83. Here the chairman of AMP Anwar javed Dogar and Dr.
Christopher Jan are helping the peasantry to fight back.
Talking to me from the village on phone, Anwar Javed Dogar said
that they want me to go away and the district administration has
already issued an order that I should be expelled from the
district. He told me that the police real intention is to kill me,
but we are ready for any eventuality. Women are ready to fight
back with us.
Anwar Javed Dogar told me that police want to crush the movement
of the peasantry who have refused to share the crops successfully
so for. That is a great success of the AMP. He told me that
General Pervaiz Musharaf have announced several times that state
owned land will be handed over to the peasantry. He has announced
it and we have implemented the orders on our own, he told me.
At Khanewal district, on 6th March 2002, over 20,000 peasants
attended a peasant rally to demand the ownership rights of the
state land and farms.
The peasant movement is going on for some time. The main slogan of
the movement is Death or Ownership. One peasant leader has already
been killed by one military officer who attacked his farm on 6th
January at Okara district with over 100 gangsters. So for, no case
has been registered against these military officials.
Unfortunately, in a bid to win the support for their demands, the
AMP supported formally the referendum of General Musharaf. The
leaders had this strategy that by joining the public meetings in
support for Musharaf, we can put more pressure on the military
government to announce the ownership rights.
This strategy was contrary to the advice of Labor Party Pakistan.
LPP argued that military will use them for the referendum and then
after referendum, they will show the real face and a new wave of
suppression can start. LPP told the leaders that despite the
disagreements, LPP will continue to support the AMP.
Although, several ministers had long meetings with the leadership
of the AMP who assured the peasant leaders that the ownership
orders on the way. The peasants came to General meetings with
their red flags and the General Musharaf has to announce several
times that he will give the state owned land to the peasantry.
Although the leadership did support Musharaf in the referendum but
not many peasants went to the poles.
But it did not take a week for the state after the referendum to
start a crack down on the movement of no more shares for the
Please send your protests to the following demanding the arrested
peasant leaders should be released and that the state owned land
should be handed over to the peasantry as was promised.
President Pervaiz Musharaf
Minister Ministry of Interior
Secretary Ministry of Interior