Land reforms Bill a populist move for next elections

October 13, 2010

MQMs brilliant ‘Land Reform‘ strategy puts PPPP on backfoot.

In a brilliant political move, the MQM has proposed land reforms. This places the PPPP in the ignominious position of defending the landowners. The Land Reform bill is a great clarion call which enables the MQM to give hope to the landless masses. Judging by its original reaction the PPPP has been cornered into rejecting the land reforms. So when the MQM goes out into the streets of Southern Punjab the slogans will be interestting to hear. An Urban party will be pitching land reforms while the PPPP will be defending its feudal interest.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has submitted the draft of new Land Reforms Bill at the secretariat of National Assembly today, report said on Tuesday. “The ownership of agriculture land should be limited to 36 acres and holding of rain-fed land should be limited to a maximum of 54 acres,” the bill suggested. Land reforms have been proposed almost since the very beginning of Pakistan’s existence. The idea behind the reforms was that land holdings in Pakistan are highly concentrated in the hands of only a few families and in order to alleviate the gross income inequalities in the rural areas, the government should place a limit on how much land a single individual can own. MQM’s leader Farooq Sattar and other MQM national assembly members and senators submitted the bill aimed at ending feudalism in Pakistan. 25 Assembly members and 5 senators were also present in NA secretariat at the time of submission.

The bill will probably not be approved in the National Assembly, but it gives the MQM fodder to win votes. This strategy will be very important in the next elections, especially in Southn Punjab, where the MQM with its ally SQM is expected to make some inroads.


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