Not a common cause: ‘Elitist’ Black Day proves a damp squib

Published: April 9, 2012
Strike, protest rally divide traders, industrialists.

Strike, protest rally divide traders, industrialists.

Strike, protest rally divide traders, industrialists. Strike, protest rally divide traders, industrialists.

While the landmark famous Clock Tower Chowk was draped in black to mourn the power outages, only about 300 people turned up at the protest rally in the chowk on Sunday as the much-touted ‘Black Day’ fizzled out.

The strike call by the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) was met with small and medium entreprenuers’ scorn.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Council of Loom Owners Association  (CLOA) chairman Waheed Khaliq Ramay said, “This was a show by big industrialists and mill owners. They neither have a connection with traders and middle class businessmen  nor did they try to reach out to us.” He said, “They consider us inferior and we prefer to stay away from their rallies.”

Mirza Shafiq Ahmad, vice president of the Sizing Owners Association, shared his sentiment, “Big industrialists are embarassed to speak to medium entreprenuers.  All sizing units remained operational. We opted out of the so-called ‘black day’.”

Shahid Gogi, general secretary of the Anjuman Tajiraan Punjab, said, “The black day organisers were supporting a parallel trader’s organisation.  They were unable to bring traders out.” He said the ‘black day’ had flopped. “It was just a display of wealth with banners, flexes and flags covering the markets but things continuing as usual on the ground. “The wealthy few cannot represent all traders. The failure of this strike proves it,” he said.

In the city, shops, business centres and shopping plazas remained shut for two hours and all markets in the city remained open. Public transport also remained operational. At the Clock Tower rally, Pakistan Textile Exporters Association Chairman Rana Arif Tauseef said that the excessive outages had devestated the industrial sector. He talked of ‘discrimination against the Punjab.’ He also claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched to push the textile sector into complete closure. Speaking to The Tribune, Arif Tauseef  rejected the assertion that the ‘Black Day’ had not been successful.  He said that the rally had been attended by both industrialists, workers and two organisations represeting traders.  He claimed, “We did not invite some of the groups; since we prefer peaceful protests.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Aftab Rauf
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:32PM

    The ppp govt. has deliberately targetted punjab. They have cut off gas and electricity supplies to punjab’s industries to commit the economic murder of punjab.

    There were 5 day CNG outages in punjab while only one day outage in karachi and that too on the weekend.Faisalabad,lahore,gujranwala’s industries have been deliberately destroyed by the ppp by cutting off their electricity and gas supply.

    Benazir’s ppp was a party of the federation, the present ppp has proven itself to be an ethnic party that is intentionally destroying other provinces.


  • Zafar Mir
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:37PM

    The destruction of Punjab’s industrial sector is all due to racsim by PPP and its allies. This has been a pre-planned campaign to cripple the economy of Punjab.
    Massive unemployment due to closure of factories and businesses has only added to the chaos in Punjab.

    The racist discrimination meted out to Punjabis by the federal govt. has shown the racist mentality of the people in power today in the federal capital. They have been working hard at their ” Destroy Punjab ” campaign ever since they came into power.


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