KARACHI: The committee formed by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to resolve a stand off with truckers paid dividends as transporters agreed to end their 11-day strike, Express News reported on Wednesday.
Express News correspondent Naeem Khanzada said that after three hours of intense negotiations, both sides had managed to resolve outstanding issues and members of the United Goods Transporters Association had decided to resume work.
The deliberations though, were not without their moments of heat. After the transporters put forward a 15-point charter of demands, talks with the delegation of federal ministers and provincial law enforcement authorities often came to a head.
Khanzada said that at one point in time, Federal Minister of Ports and Shipping Babar Ghouri almost got up and left, and had to be brought back. On another occasion, the transporters became rash pushing for their demands.
In the end, Khanzada said, the transporters agreed to take their chances with promises made by the ministers and accepted nine solutions presented by the committee.
Among the chief demands conceded during the meeting was that within 48 hours, five police check posts will be built on the Northern bypass to ensure security. Another of the key issues included cargo weight and National Highway Authority (NHA) and Motorway police. It was decided that the NHA and motorway police will not obstruct or ticket truckers for three months.
Ghouri said that any area in which trucks met with attempts at burglary, or attacks, that area’s DIG will be held responsible.
Additionally, responding to the grievance of transporters that their trucks and containers were directly put in the line of fire of protesters as road blocks, it was decided that the Karachi Port Trust would spend Rs20 million to procure containers for blocking roads. Further, IG Sindh has been told to pay rent to buses that they use as emergency road blocks and for transport.
As a result, transporters agreed to restart their engines from night of December 12.
In addition to the federal ministers, Inspector General Sindh police, DIG motorway police along with NHA officials were also present at the meeting.
Correction: An earlier version of the story was carrying some spelling errors which have now been rectified.