ISLAMABAD: Traders in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are worried about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)’s ‘Azadi March’ on August 14 and its call to remain in the capital till its as-yet undisclosed demands are met.
“This is not good news for businessmen of the twin-cities in particular and for the whole country in general as the march will disturb the business environment,” said Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Dr Shumail Daud on Monday.
He said protests not only affect business but also create problems for commuters, daily wagers and transporters. “The country is already faced with multiple challenges. Marches like this can further aggravate the situation,” said the RCCI chief.
He urged the warring politicians to sort out their issues through negotiations and not making the working man suffer. Former Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ijaz Abbassi also said that the PTI-led march will hamper the city’s business environment. “PTI must ensure that its protest does not affect the economy.”
He said democracy is not about protests only. “A workable environment to do business is also a democratic right of the people,” he remarked.
Sajid Khan, a shopkeeper in the Aabpara Market, said, “There is some kind of demonstration every other day. Shopkeepers can’t afford this as they are already facing losses due to load-shedding.”
Traders say they suffered losses worth Rs7billion when Tahirul Qadri staged a sit-in on Jinnah Avenue in January 2013. Over 2,500 stores, offices, restaurants and moneychangers in Blue Area remained closed for several days owing to the protest.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th,2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ