The wheat crisis in Pakistan forced government to import 300,000 tons of wheat, but people in government’s own circles are questioning the root cause and authenticity of the crisis. Moreover, the response from top government officials is somehow absurd.
Apparently, President Arif Alvi is unaware of the crisis in Pakistan, while ‘roti’ after nanbai association’s strike has been selling for Rs60 in parts of the province.
A reporter asked President in Karachi, while he was visiting a hospital, who was behind the shortage of wheat, in reply President Arif Alvi said, “I don’t know who’s responsible for it but I should know who it was,” adding that “When claims about the improving state of affairs were made, we did not know about the Treasury’s situation,”
“He, at least, spoke the truth,” said Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani in reaction to the unawareness of the President about crisis. He further added, “he, at least, has not made any senseless argument like Firdous Ashiq Awan,”
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Earlier, Firdous Ashiq Awan, the SAPM on information and broadcasting held ‘mafia’ responsible for the artificial increase in prices. But, she did not stated as to how the government would curb those mafias.
Contrary to the Saeed Ghani’s criticism, the situation with his own provincial government in Sindh, is no different. Technically, Sindh government was originally responsible for the crisis itself, who discouraged procurement of wheat due to corruption probes, resulting in the birth of artificial crisis of wheat in Sindh, which spread all over Pakistan.
Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, the Minister for food security in his presser on Sunday was optimistic that prices would go down in a couple of days. Moreover, he vowed to take action against headers and grab people who are profiting from the ongoing crisis by piling up stocks to increase prices.
The minister further said that the demand and supply gap has been filled and supply for Karachi has been raised from 9,000 to 10,000 tons.
Nanbai association of KP has gone for strike after government’s refusal failure to meet their demand to increase the government rate of roti. However, the government is planning a clamp down against ‘naan’ centers, who are selling 100g roti above the set rate of Rs10.
General Secretary Nanbais Association of Peshawar Abdul Majeed Qureshi affirmed to continue his strike until the government’s compliance with their demands. In some parts of the city, the naan centers, which are open despite the strike are selling the ‘roti’ at Rs60.
The negligibility of provincial and central government made one thing clear, that the powerful ‘mafias’ who are controlling the food chain of the country are free to do whatever they want. Most specifically, the response from provincial governments wildly silly and beyond reason. Sindh government is typically manipulating – as it seems – the center to give in to their political demands.
In the wake of other important pressing matters that has been going on in this country, like the worst inflation in the history of the country, Pakistanis now have been starved of two time’s meal, or maybe be Shaikh Rasheed was right that nation eat ‘rotis’ in winters.