US journalist not allowed to meet tenants
MULTAN- At three member team, including a journalist was not allowed to meet the besieged tenants of the Okara military farms’ This was stated in a press release issued by the Anjuman Mazareen Punjab (AMP).
According to the release, the team comprised Admiral (retired) Fasih Bokhari, Betsy Udnik, wife of the Netherlands ambassador in Pakistan and journalist Ronald Moreau.
The People’s Rights Movement (PRM) has organized the team to expose the injustices being meted out to the tenant families for demanding ownership rights against their tenancy lands they had been cultivating for, nearly a century.
The team reached the Okara military farms around 2.30 p.m. and was confronted with a senior rangers official at the entrance. Denying the team access to tenants’ villages, the official drove its members to the military farm headquarters and asked them to wait for his seniors.
After a long wait, Major Akbar appeared and warned the team members that their security could not be guaranteed in the tenants’ villages. The Major did not grant permission to the team despite being told that he needed not to be worried about the team’s security.
The AMP press release said the rangers official held PRM responsible for the uprising in the ranks of tenants and warned that its activists were on the watch list of government and intelligence agencies.
As a last resort when the team tried to move towards the tenants village on their own, the law enforcers asserted that foreigners could not be allowed to enter the villages. Later, the team was forced’ to leave the Okara district about 6 p.m. in the escort of rangers and police personnel.