LAHORE: Defence Housing Authority, a posh and bustling area of the provincial capital, wore a deserted look on Thursday after a blast ripped through the locality.
Most markets pulled their shutters down, while commercial areas closed early due to the thin business activity.
Traders complained the current wave of terrorism had crippled their businesses as the repeated incidents of violence were forcing citizens away from markets and crowded areas.
All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran Secretary General Abdul Razzaq Babar urged the government to ensure better security at markets and commercial areas in the city. “The government and law enforcing agencies should divert some security VIP personnel to common citizens, who are facing a tremendous threat. Consecutive acts of terrorism in the provincial capital have pushed citizens the brink of panic,” he underlined.
Babbar told The Express Tribune that trader bodies had decided to approach police and government officials to devise a security strategy for markets and commercial areas. He added the community, in its own capacity, was trying to improve security arrangements in city markets.
Qaumi Tajir Ittehad Lahore President Ansar Zahoor Butt said though the city’s trading community always displayed great courage and supported law enforcement agencies in all emergency situations, the current wave of terrorism has emptied markets.
He stressed customers at markets had decreased by one-fifth after the suicide blast on Mall Road.
Though business activity was adversely affected, Butt vowed traders would face up to the situation with courage and keep their shops open.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2017.