KKU holds massive rally at Hussainiwala, urges Centre govt to open Atari-Wagah and Hussainiwala by road
Ferozepur, September 21, 2023: A massive rally was held, by the Kirti Kisan Union at Hussainiwala and urged the Centre government to open Atari-Wagah and Hussainiwala via road for trade purposes between Bharat-Hussainiwala.
Despite not having tangy relations between the two countries, the demand for resumption of trade between India and Pakistan, is to reduce the cost of existing import-export between the two countries via sea and Dubai.
Apart from opening of borders for trade purposes, the Union also demanded to ease the visa conditions and allow doing the trade on the basis of passport.
Earlier also opening of demand of Hussainiwala border had been raised by various trade unions for trade and transit as with the reopening of the Hussainiwala-Lahore border, poor farmers of this area would get an opportunity to export their produce and make more money.
They alleged that the Central Government was deliberately not making efforts to reopen this border as it did not wish economic uplift of the farmer community. The border was open for trade till the onset of hostilities in 1971. However, it was closed in the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistan war, leaving the thriving export-import trade in the lurch. The economy of the area got shattered.
Terming the condition of 1200$ per ton on export of Basmati rice by the Centre government as anti-farmer policy, the farmers demanded immediately to withdraw this condition.
In this rally, the members of other farmers’ outfits and intellectuals – Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakonda), Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Punjab Students, Democratic Teachers Front and intellectuals were also present. They said, there is a business of around 1.35 crores dollars between the two countries but this is being mostly done from Mundra Port in Gujarat via sea route mostly owned by the Adani groups.
Sukhchain Singh, Balwinder Singh,Rajinder Deep Singh Wala, members of the farmers committee said, presently the 80 per cent trade of around 350 items between the two countries through sea route and Dubai which is too costly. It proves that both the countries depend on each other from a business point of view. They said, if these borders are also opened, it will benefit most the farmers’ community besides the country as well.
The Indian government could earn custom duty if it is resumed. As per a World Trade Organisation report, there is a possibility of nearly $37 billion trade between India and Pakistan, which is currently at just $3 billion. As per the study by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, there are possibilities of trade extending to the Middle East and beyond,” he claimed.
The distance between Amritsar and Lahore is merely 54km and from Ferozepur, Kasur is just 25km away. If trade could be done through Mundra port, then why not via Punjab, which could be cheaper and beneficial for the economy of northern India, said farmer leaders.