Whose Land? Whose Food?

In this issue, we begin to explore some key aspects of food and land insecurity in Pakistan - who has been grabbing land, how have farmers resisted such moves, what have been the causes of food shortages, and how are such shortages discussed problematically in the television media. 

Struggling for Land

Adaner Usmani

The Karachi Press Club is an extraordinary place. Teeming – always – with protest, whether miniscule or formidable, hackneyed or genuine, one of the first things one learns is that the space and the contradictions it embodies can be dispiriting and inspiring in equal measure. So it has proved with one of the more public, memorable campaigns of the past year – the Khaskhelis' struggle for land and justice more...

The Big Picture

Saadia Toor

Over the last 4 years, the world faced a food crisis of unprecedented proportions. In Pakistan, this crisis manifested itself in a wheat shortage in 2008. However, as is the case globally, the problem was not a shortfall in wheat production; in fact, Pakistan had had a bumper wheat crop in 2006-7.  The crucial piece of the puzzle here is the complex role played by the World Bank/IMF more...

The "Islamic" answer to the Food Crisis

Tazeen Javed

The dire state of hunger and poverty of the Pakistani poor became glaringly visible on September 14th 2009, when 19 women were killed in a stampede at a charity event in Karachi where hundreds had gathered to obtain free flour. Even more shocking was the way in which this tragedy was discussed by musician-turned-maulana, Junaid Jamshed, in an episode of Aalim Online on Geo TV more...

The Coming Plantations

Mubbashir Rizvi

Recent reports about the government’s plan to allot thousands of acres of land to foreign countries and private corporations are alarming to say the least. Given the history of exploitative work conditions in Saudi Arabia and Gulf states, it is very likely that the new foreign farms will function like colonial plantations. Colonial planters, like today’s advocates for corporate farming, saw themselves as investors and innovators of commercial agriculture more...

Our Land, Our Food. Pakistan is not for Sale. Read and sign the petition against farmland lease to foreign countries here.


 Photograph by Faisal Jamil

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