KARACHI, June 15: Speakers at a rally on Sunday
demanded that siege of Okara villages be lifted and the atrocities
by the law enforcement agency personnel against the farmer be
They were speaking at the rally organized by the Labour Party of
Pakistan at the Karachi Press Club to express solidarity with the
Okara farmers and condemn the LEA personnel for subjecting them to
They recalled that British rulers had settled these farmer on the
lands in Okara and Renala Khurd more than a century back when
these lands were barren. They said three or four generations of
these peasant families had been working on the lands and their
hard work turned these lands into best agricultural lands in the
country. Vested interests, they regretted, were bent upon denying
these farmers their due rights and resorting to inflict loss of
life on the protesting peasants.
The speakers referred to seven protesters' deaths already occurred
in the dispute and demanded registration of cases against the
killers. They called for an open trial and exemplary punishment to
They further demanded that siege of the Okara villages be lifted
and villagers allowed to move freely. They criticized various
political parties for not adopting a clear stand on the issue
while atrocities by the LEAs continued unabated.
The demonstrators were holding banners and placards inscribed with
slogans in favour of their demands. Those spoke on the occasion
included Umer Baloch and Ghulam Akber.