An interesting development came on Sunday in form of a warning Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan. Imran Khan wishes to have a stadium constructed on the land adjacent to Namal College Mianwali. The land belongs to several farmers in the area primarily of the Seelo community. He was speaking at the Namal College convocation where he stated that the provincial government was in touch with the concerned people for seeking additional land. He said,
I politely ask them to either sell their lands or donate it for the construction of the Namal College Stadium. If they will keep on resisting, the PTI will take over these lands under Section 4 after coming into power… If they sell their lands right now, they will get some money. However, if they refuse, they will not only lose their lands but will also get nothing under PTI rule.
Details of referred to Section 4 can be found at this website Imran Khan also condemned certain rulers allegedly making money through all means. His bold remarks, and what he considered polite received massively negative critique throughout the country and was even condemned by his own party. A representative of the concerned Seelo community was reported to have said that PTI had no intention of purchasing the land for stadium, instead were trying to grab it. He also assured that the land will not be given up. People protested against the remarks by Imran Khan and rightly so. The tribe members of the Seelo community are the rightful owners of those lands. A protestor asked, “What will such a leader do if he were to come into power, who wants to expel his own people even before?” Another asked, “How can a leader do justice with a nation when he can’t do justice with own people?”
The arguments by the protestors were logical, and it is uncertain why Imran Khan made such a threat, that too long before the possibility of PTI coming into power. Some argue that Imran Khan portrayed the true essence of PTI, and what it stands for. Imran Khan openly threatened farmers, majority of whom fail to make enough of a living, and basically put them in a no-way-out situation – a quality not sought for in a leader which Imran Khan claims to be.
While grabbing the land was not enough, Imran Khan failed to provide a healthy atmosphere of dialogue which probably would have led to a better outcome. The two alternatives given to the farmers were to sell their land, or lose their land, both of which puts the rightful owners without means for a living. He failed to provide alternate sources of income for the poor instead, his focus was to please the students of Namal College with a stadium. If the farmers indeed were to sell their lands, they will only be paid a margin of what the land’s worth, a very basic amount, something that will not help an average person to start over especially not a farmer. Shameful to say the least.
This particular speech begs the question as to what PTI stands for, their ideology and their system of governance. Imran Khan was not only arrogant enough to believe that his party will win the next elections, but he went a step ahead and made the worst of decisions under an assumption that may never actually come to realization – robbing the poor of their only source of survival. Shameful to say the least.
The opinions expressed in this article are the [anonymous] author’s own and do not reflect the views Today in Pakistan.
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