Indore: 'Barter POK for fresh tangy red tomato'

Indore: Tomato growers of Petlawad and adjoining areas of Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh have offered a fresh solution to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan-- barter PoK for fresh, red, tangy vegetable from this region. Tomato a main ingredient in Pak cuisines was recently selling at around Rs 400/a kg in Karachi.

The letter forwarded by the union of over 150 farmers from Petlawad and adjoining villages in Jhabua district via post and Twitter also demand an apology for Pulwama terror attack as well as surrender of 26/11 mastermind Hafeez Saeed and India's most wanted don Dawood Ibrahim.

Taking on to twitter, Mahendra Hamad said that Pak premier should tender an apology in writing to India. Apart from that, Islamabad must also grant custody of Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed to India. Only then, the farmers of Jhabua would consider exporting tomatoes to Pakistan.

There are more than 5,000 big and small farmers, mostly in district's Petlawad tehsil, involved in tomato cultivation. Before the Uri attack, they used to send about 10 trucks carrying 150 tons of tomatoes daily to Pakistan through Wagah border. It takes 20 to 36 hours, depending on the routes they take, for the consignments to reach the neigbouring country.

After the Uri attack in 2016, tomato growers in the state have unanimously decided to deny Pakistani people the taste of tomato in retaliation to what they say neighbouring country's sustained hostilities towards India.

As things settled down in two-anda-half years, Pulwama attack on CRPF convoy once again forced the local farmers to stop exporting tomato to the neigbouring country.

At that time, Jhabua farmers used to charge between Rs 600 and Rs 700

per box. Following this, Imran Khan and his government are facing criticism by Pakistanis over skyrocketing price of tomato. One can gauge the situation prevailing in the negibouring country that a Pak bride had jewellery made of tomatoes adorning her on her wedding day.

A video shows that a Pakistani bride dressed in a traditional gold outfit -- but wearing earrings, maangtika, necklace and bracelets made of tomatoes. She also said she had received pine nuts in envelopes as her wedding gift. "The price of gold is very high. Tomatoes and pine nuts are too expensive. So, I used tomatoes for my wedding," she said. Meanwhile, the latest negotiation offer from Indian farmers could bring some relief for Imran and Pakistan people who are reeling under high inflation and skyrocketing tomato price in the country.

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