Monday, January 14, 2008

Pakistan Army Moves To Control Wheat Stores

By Cernig

From the BBC today comes the news that Pakistan's Musharraf has moved the military to control all outlets for the staple foods, wheat and flour:
The authorities in Pakistan have deployed paramilitary troops to guard wheat supplies around the country amid fears of a massive shortfall.
The government has blamed hoarders and smugglers for the problem.

Wheat is a staple food in Pakistan and shortages have led to large scale rioting in the past.

Flour shortfalls initially pushed up market prices. Later flour ran out on the open market when officials fixed prices and warned against violations.

Now Pakistan's national disaster management authority has deployed thousands of paramilitary troops at wheat stores.

The head of the authority said the aim was to ensure that store owners did not sell more than allowed by the government.

...There have been wheat and rice shortages across South Asia in recent weeks and world prices have reached record highs.
Regular reader and Newshoggers researcher Kat has been keeping her eye on worldwide food shortages and hopefully she'll be setting down a guest-post on the subject soon. If the US is heading into a recession, I think a lot of people might want to know that the cost of staple foods is set to skyrocket.

But it also strikes me, in Pakistan's case, that if a soft totalitarian state wants to ensure it has control of the populace, there must be few better ways to do so than being able to decide who eats.

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