Police in capital on high alert ahead of farmers’ protest

RAWALPINDI: Police will be on high alert in the territory of the federal capital ahead of a protest by Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) against the rise in prices of pesticides and fertilisers and the low prices of their crops, which they say are causing them significant losses.

According to police sources, additional personnel will be deployed at points of entry and vehicles will be randomly checked starting Sunday night.

Nobody will be allowed into the Red Zone as part of the security measures, and traffic will be diverted because of the police presence.

Farmers’ leader Abdul Samad Chaudhry told Media that farmers have been facing significant losses because of the heavy rainfall, which has damaged cotton and maize crops among others, and because of the considerable increase in pesticide prices.

The cost of diesel and fertiliser has also risen, while the prices of crops are low, he said.

The PKI has decided to hold a peaceful protest in Islamabad, he said, to invite the government’s attention towards their problems.

“We will gather outside the National Press Club (NPC) and hold a peaceful protest,” he said, adding that the protesters do not plan to move towards the Red Zone. He said the protesters would prefer to register their protest outside the NPC and have someone from the government’s side listen to them.