Pakistan government must not grant transit facility to India for the export of Indian wheat to Afghanistan because, ‘we cannot afford to jeopardize Pakistani farmers’ vital interests for the other country farmers’ said Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo in a statement issued from here today.
Its strategic dimensions for Pakistan cannot be brushed aside when seen in the context of escalation of tension on LOC by India, he maintained.
He pointed out that Pakistan had sufficient surplus of wheat stock that could take care of the entire food requirements of the brotherly country, Afghanistan, as it had been doing so during the past many years.
He maintained that Pakistani wheat was of the top quality of the world and it was in the interest of the Afghans people to use it as staple food keeping in view the health considerations as Indian wheat had typical local disease. The Afghan people will also like to see Pakistani authorities’ regret to India for the health reason, he stated.
He warned the government that it must not allow the export of Indian wheat to Afghanistan for the health considerations of Pakistani as well because the wheat so exported to Afghanistan might be re-exported to Pakistan for local consumption.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo advocated that the wheat supplied to Afghanistan by Pakistan should be on competitive and affordable rates in order to protect the interests of the Afghan consumers.
He cautioned that the provision of facility to India for the export of wheat to Afghanistan would spark protest right across the country adding in the Punjab and KPK in particular as it would affect prices mechanism of the commodity in the country to their utter disadvantages.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo pointed out that the accumulative negative impact of the decision on the rural economy would be devastating with hurtful social implications. The agro-based industry will also suffer decline to trigger the vicious cycle of unemployment and resultantly poverty, he added.
He argued that the majority of the country’s population lived in the rural areas and their livelihood, directly or indirectly, was depended on agriculture. The sector is the major source of employment for the rural population adding any bad decision will not only be opposed but also resisted tooth and nail by them.