Karachi: Sindh Land Reforms Movement (SLRM), a network of peasants and civil society organizations on Tuesday organized a public rally from Arts Council of Pakistan round about to Karachi Press Club for initiation of land reforms in the province and provision of the agriculture land to the landless peasants.
Trade unions members, agriculture workers, human rights activists and civil society representatives attended the rally in a large number and demanded the government to launch land reforms according to Land Reforms Acct 1977.
Those who addressed the rally included senior labour leader Usman Baloch, Mehnaz Rahman of Aurat Foundation, Ishaq Soomro of PILER, Illahi Bukhsh Bikak of Jeay Sindh Quomi Mahaz and others.
Addressing to the participants, they termed feudalism as the main hurdle in the development of agriculture sector and over all country. The feudal lords and tribal chieftains dominate = the national and provincial assemblies, adding there would not be any positive change at structural level if their dominance continues.
They appealed the Supreme Court of Pakistan to order cancellation of all the agriculture land provided to elite class as a reward and give that land to the landless peasants.
In Pakistan unequal distribution of the agriculture land has continued since independence, which can be termed as exploitation of the peasants. The system has not only taken roots in Pakistan but new landlords have also emerged, including those given big chunks of lands as reward.
In the absence of land reforms inequality and marginalization have increased manifold in Pakistan where majority, over 90 million people, experience the hardship that hunger imposes in Pakistan, the basic amenities of live, for example, health, education, sanitation shelter are non-existent for them.
They appealed that the governments must legislate on the right to unionization, social security, Old Age benefits and provision of basic rights to the tenants and daily wage workers.
The speakers pointed out that the Sindh Assembly must remove the recent amendments introduced in Sindh Tenancy Act in March 2013. It should consult with representatives of tenants and civil society on amendments to be introduced in Sindh Tenancy Act 1950 and take steps for brining to justice those taking bonded labour.