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WTO Kills Farmers: Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek Protest Against the WTO

Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT) and Roots for Equity carried out a protest at the Lahore Press Club, Punjab, Pakistan to register public resistance against the World Trade Organization (WTO) which is going hold its its 9th Ministerial Meeting December 3-6, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia.

The purpose of the WTO was to ensure control on global trade much of which is under the imperialist control of the advanced capitalist countries and their gigantic transnational corporations. WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) and TRIPS (Trade-related- Intellectual Property Rights ) agreement are immensely exploitative of farmers across the world, especially small and landless farmers of third world countries. Agrochemical and Biotechnology multinational corporations especially the US corporations have stolen and imposed control over the rich genetic resources of the third world with the TRIPS agreement of the WTO thereby paving the way for multinational companies to earn billions of dollars by patenting of, and trading of hybrid and genetic seeds, chemical fertilizers and highly poisonous pesticides. On the other hand, farmers have not only lost their indigenous seeds but at the same time have become dependent on the inputs of agro-chemical corporations pushing them in a vicious cycle of high cost production, indebtedness, and loss of livelihood. Today a vast majority of the rural and urban population face hunger, and are living in acute poverty and misery.

The imperialist policies of privatization, deregulation and trade liberalization pushed by the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank have resulted in poisoned lands, food and the destruction of environment which has had not only a tremendous impact on the health of people, especially women and children as well as resulting in year after year of so called natural disasters. No doubt these policies are based on the lust for super profits of the capitalist system.

The 9th ministerial meeting of the WTO is being used for advancing the Trade Facilitation agreement which is to allow these international corporations ease of entry for their imports and immediate access to markets. They are demanding quick, easy and smooth service for custom clearance so that their rate of earning profits is made faster. There is no doubt, that this new agreement will only lead to the further oppression and exploitation of small and landless farmers and workers.

Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek rejects the WTO while holding it responsible for the destruction of lives and livelihood of small farmers, especially in the third world. PKMT demands the government should cancel its membership at the WTO and ask other governments to join hands in closing such an anti–farmer, anti-worker organization. Such an action will break the imperialist stranglehold over Pakistan taking it towards a road of food and national sovereignty.

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