The representative bodies of traders and private educational institutions have rejected the restrictions imposed by the government following the third wave of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The All Pakistan Private Schools and Colleges Association (APPSCA) has announced continuing the examinations in private educational institutions across the country under Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) devised to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
The government should focus on the implementation of SOPs instead of closing educational institutions, APPSCA President Malik Abrar Hussain said.
He was addressing a press conference flanked by APPSCA Secretary Muhammad Ashraf Hiraj, Punjab President Raja Ilyas Kayani and others in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Hussain asked the government to ensure the supply of coronavirus vaccines to control the pandemic instead of closing educational institutions and public places.
He told the media that the private educational institutions would continue activities under strict SOPs including wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and sanitising hands.
He warned that there would be a protest so intense that the government will forget the demonstrations staged by Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), he added.
He categorically rejected the statement of Punjab Education Minister Murad Rass on completing examinations by March 19 and said that the schools and colleges would complete their sessions by April.
He suggested the government should avoid interrupting educational activities and focus on the implementation of precautionary measures in schools and colleges.
Hussain said that the academic year had already been severely affected while the matric and intermediate exams were also near.
Responding to a question, the official said it was inappropriate for the architects of the nation to hold protests or sit-ins but the government was forcing them to tread the path of political parties.
Traders on warpath
Islamabad Traders Action Committee President Ajmal Baloch and other officials have demanded immediate withdrawal of notification regarding two-day off in the district.
The officials said they could not do any business during the past year and paid salaries from their pockets besides rents of shops and utility bills.
The businessmen of Islamabad said that they were just coming out of the losses when the administration curtailed business activities to five days only.
Baloch said that the business community would ensure complete implementation of SOPs and called for the withdrawal of notification.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2021.
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