KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zakaria Usman has said the country is at a critical economic and political juncture and cannot afford uncertainty at this point.
With Imran Khan-led PTI and Tahirul Qadri’s PAT staging protests and sit-ins in Islamabad, the investment climate has remained uncertain.
“The current political uncertainty has hampered the process of economic and commercial development in the country,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Usman also said that the recent call of the protesting political parties for civil disobedience is not understandable and the business community cannot support it.
He said this movement may provoke the public for non-payment of taxes and utility bills that can have an adverse effect on Pakistan.
“The business community, which is the real political stakeholder, is against any upheaval, including the call of civil disobedience,” said Usman. “The community does not want to close businesses and industries as it cannot afford defaults to the banks and other organisations.”
He suggested protestors to avoid converting their democratic right of peaceful protest into illegal and undemocratic violence-prone activities.
He said that the political scenario should not affect the economic and trade activities. The strikes, mob harassments and destruction of public and private properties are the national losses that this country cannot afford.
He requested both the ruling and opposition parties to keep the economy separate from politics. During the last two weeks, the country has suffered loss of billions of dollars due to political unrest, he added. The president questioned the compensation of the losses, adding that ultimately, these political parties will revert to the business community for tax collection.
Usman concluded by urging all political forces to settle the current political crisis through dialogue and all political parties should come forward for this important cause.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2014.