Businessmen and analysts have cautiously welcomed the restoration of local bodies system in Sindh but have stressed that political uncertainty is one of the key problems businesses are facing today, especially in Karachi, which the government needs to overcome.
Businessmen say that law and order, power outages, extortion and kidnapping for ransom are some of the top issues that businesses face in Karachi which are much more important than the love and hate relationship between Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Saeed Shafiq commented that political uncertainty was one of the many factors that were disturbing the businesses in present conditions.
“It is good for the businesses in Sindh that the two main political parties have agreed to bring back the local bodies system, but we are still far from creating investment friendly conditions in the province,” he said.
There are many groups in Karachi which are involved in extortion and kidnapping for ransom. Until now, authorities have failed to tackle such serious challenges, Shafiq said.
“The issue at hand is how can we get rid of these small groups that are threatening the overall business environment in Karachi,” he asked.
Atif Zafar, analyst at JS Global Capital Limited, said the decision of implementing local bodies system was good for the businesses, especially for the violence-hit Karachi.
In recent months whenever these two parties supported each other, Karachi saw peaceful times, he added.
An analyst from a top brokerage house at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) said the working relationship between the two main political parties was crucial for the peace of Karachi.
Although KSE had not reacted strongly to any of the recent positive or negative political developments, the fact remained that any law and order problem owing to political issues dealt a severe blow to the businesses, he said.
Citing the recent strikes and protests, he said, violence triggered in any form caused serious repercussions for the already fragile business environment in the financial capital of the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.