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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 39 September 23, 2023

Rally by Peasants Trade Union in India demands open Indo-Pak trade through Attari and Hussainiwala road corridors.

Saturday 23 September 2023, by admin


Press note

Massive rally at Attari border by Kirti Kisan Union

  • Strong demand to open Indo-Pak trade through Attari and Hussainiwala road corridors.
  • Demand to give freedom to farmers to sell their produce by abolishing visa conditions.
  • Big gatherings will be held on September 20 in many districts including Hussainiwala.
  • Demand for withdrawal of condition imposed on export of basmati at USD 1200 per tonne.

Attari, September 18, 2023

Kirti Kisan Union today held a massive rally at the Attari-Wahga border and raised a strong voice for the opening of India-Pakistan trade through the Attari-Wahga and Hussainiwala road corridors. In the rally, it was demanded that the farmers should be allowed to sell their produce directly on the passport by abolishing the visa conditions. Calling the central government’s condition of 1200 dollars per ton (₹125 per kg) on the export of basmati as anti-farmer, it was also demanded to withdraw it immediately.

It is worth mentioning that various sections of the society supported the campaign launched by Kirti Kisan Union on this issue and participated in the rally. The sections that joined included intellectuals and writers associated with folklore research academy, Amritsar Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Association, Truck Union Attari and the working class of the area.

Addressing the gathering, Union State President Nirbhai Singh Dhudike and State General Secretary Rajinder Singh Deep Singh Wala said that the rulers of the country should move towards building friendly relations instead of fueling the fire of enmity between India and Pakistan and Trade is an important link in that direction. In 2019, the Indian government removed Pakistan from the list of trade friendly countries and imposed 200% regulatory duty on non-essential goods. Due to this the trade with Pakistan through the road corridors of Punjab was not only destroyed but also the interests of Punjab suffered a heavy blow. He said that there is about USD 1.35 billion worth of trade between the two countries but this trade is mostly through sea route from Adani’s Mundra Port (Gujarat). Accusing the BJP government at the center to serve the corporate interests like Adani and treating Punjab like a stepmother, the farmer leaders strongly demanded opening of this trade through Attari-Wahga and Hussainiwala road corridors of Punjab.

Addressing the gathering, Union Vice Presidents Jatinder Singh Chhina and Satbir Singh Sultani said that currently 80% of the trade between the two countries is being done through sea routes or indirectly through Dubai which is very expensive. Direct trade through the Attari-Wahga and Hussainiwala road routes will not only be cheaper but also a source of new employment and economic prosperity for the farmers, traders, agricultural implement artisans, truck operators and laborers of North India especially Punjab. He said that this trade can act as a lifeblood for the distressed economy of Punjab, so the Punjab government and the people here should make vigorous efforts to open trade through road corridors.

Addressing the rally, State Press Secretary Raminder Singh Patiala and State Leaders Balwinder Singh Bhullar and Tarsem Singh Bannemal have said that there is trade between the two countries in about 350 items, which proves that both countries are close and interdependent to each other in terms of trade. Pointing on to the unlimited growth potential of this trade, the farmer leaders said that the demand for our agricultural implements, kinnu, apple, potato, basmati and mustard among other crops in Pakistan and the Middle East is the reason for boosting horticulture, small scale industries ,due to this we can achieve our goal of crop diversification.

Farmer leaders Nachhatar Singh Tarn Taran, Hardeep Kaur Kotla, Sukhdev Singh Randhawa and Satnam Singh Jhander said that due to BJP’s fascist plan to paint the country in one color, those who demanded to open trade with Pakistan were often labelled as an anti-national. The leaders of the organization questioned that if trade can be done from Mundra port, then why block the Attari-Wahga and Hussainiwala roads?

Truck Union Attari President Harinderpal Singh Sandhu, Amritsar Fruit and Vegetable Association President Karanjit Singh Batra, Samyukta Farmers Welfare Organization Ajnala President Manjit Singh Bath, Folklore Research Academy Head Ramesh Yadav and eminent social worker Puran Singh Sandhu Ranike also attended the rally and Addressed.

Finally, during the rally, the organization also announced to hold conferences on this issue on September 20 at Hussainiwala and in Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Sangrur and Patiala districts of the state.

Issued by

Jatinder Singh Chinna, Vice President
(Phone: 81465-43353)

Raminder Singh Patiala, Press Secretary, Kirti Kisan Union
(Phone 94630-53401)

[See also news report on the above: Farmer body holds rally, wants Pak trade to be resumed]

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