The country is facing one of the biggest wheat crises in Pakistan’s history with a bag of atta costing a record high of Rupees 75 per KG. Amid the wheat crisis, PML-N’s member of the Punjab Assembly (MPA) Azma Bokhari was engaged in a heated debate on a television talk show with the Chairman of Punjab Food Authority and PTI MPA Umer Tanveer Butt.
Azma said that there was a wheat crisis in the country and Umer refused to accept it, saying there was no shortage. Azma then said that if there was no shortage, then he could send a bag of atta to her house.
We called Azma to confirm the following story. She says that when she woke up this morning, she was told by the cook in her house that a truck had come with bags of atta. The bags were being unloaded outside her house and her cook told her that he had bought a bag from them for Rs. 790 a bag. Others living on the street had also come by to buy bags of atta.
Azma says that she went out and asked the people unloading the bags to take the bags and leave. They said that they had “been instructed” to leave the bags outside her house and sell it to people living in the area. She ordered them to leave her property and says that this was an attempt to “harass” her.
But according to Food and Authority Chairman Umer Tauseef, who was on the program with Azma, they weren’t harassing her and that she is “once again, using the harassment card”.
Umer says that she asked for a bag of atta on the show, saying that people in Model Town were not finding atta anywhere. He says that there is no wheat crisis and therefore, bags are available everywhere and to prove his point, he sent bags of atta to her house so people living in Model Town could have access to it.
When asked if PTI was trying to divert attention from the real issues, like a looming wheat crisis, he said that this was, “PML-N’s propaganda machine” at work and challenged to show him “one place where atta is not available”. He denied that there was any wheat crisis and said that the prices had increased due to the fact that the government had removed subsidies from certain forms of wheat.
Umer Tanveer is denying that there is a wheat crisis but other ministers of the PTI have stated that there is a shortage of wheat in the country.