KARACHI: An FIR will be registered against Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan for the damage done to vehicles and containers, the Universal Goods Transporters Alliance (UGTA) decided in a meeting at its Karachi office on Wednesday.
"Imran and Qadri's workers have damaged our containers while clearing the way for their rallies," said association spokesperson Fazal Manan Jadoon. "They threw the containers aside with their cranes, damaging them as well as the goods inside."
Although the transporters had thought the protests would end on August 14, they kept getting extended while their losses increased, said Jadoon. More than 5,000 containers and trucks had been seized by the police to secure Lahore and Islamabad, he added. Hundreds of trucks loaded for transport to Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad have been delayed due to the protests in the federal capital and the related road closures, said Jadoon, adding that UGTA wanted to go on a countrywide strike if the government did not release the containers and vehicles immediately and compensate it for the losses and damages. "The containers filled with goods have been stuck for more than two weeks," said UGTA chairperson Ghulam Yasin. "Meanwhile, the losses keep increasing for the transporters who are responsible for the safe hauling of the shipments."
According to Yasin, government delegations had assured them in December 2012 and November 2013 that their vehicles and containers would not be lifted by the police without their permission and prior payment to them.
"These containers carry food items and medicines and we are responsible for their safety and damages - we have to bear the losses anyway," said Yasin. He also pointed out that the transport business was already in decline due to fuel prices.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.
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