ISLAMABAD: “I cannot make my wife happy if the markets and the hotels close at eight o’clock, particularly on the eve of weekend”, says Qaiser Shah, a government official and resident of G-10.
The majority of residents of the twin cities are pubic servants and they get free around 5-6 pm. After that they reach home round 7pm, he observed. “After a hectic day how can we, without taking a bath and having a cup of tea, take our families out for shopping or dinner?” he questioned. Omer Javed, a 23-year-old student of Association of Certified Chartered Accountants and a resident of Sector F-7/3, said being a student he likes to go out with his friends after dinner. “It is a routine after studying throughout the day.
I and my friends go to Jinnah Super and sit in round market for hours to inhale the fresh air and have fun. But now we are wondering what will we do and how will we manage to stay put at home”, he added. “It is an acknowledged fact that the capital lacks recreational spots especially for youngsters,” he said. “Various markets like Super Market, Jinnah Super Market — popularly known as simply Jinnah — and F-10 Markaz remain the only spots for us to go and have fun at night”, he added. Sam Ali, a young producer, felt the early closure of shopping and eating outlets would encourage negative activities for the youngsters.
“Obviously, when they know that they will not have any place to gather so they would prefer to go to underground clubs, sit in front of TV for hours, use more internet and chat more with their girlfriends,” he maintained. Raheel Wasiq, 21-year-old student, said somewhat sarcastically, “What! now I will sleep early and get up early and get more time to get on my mom’s nerves.” Mehreen Mumtaz, a 25-yearold teacher said it would be difficult for her to finish work before 8pm as she also ran a tuition centre in the evening.
“I come home at around 3:30pm and after having lunch and resting for an hour or so I start with my tuition classes, which end by 7: 30pm. How can I manage to go for shopping, now”, she said. Talking to The Express Tribune, Salamuddin Ali, sales manager at Mr Books, Super Market said the majority of parents visited their shop after 8pm to buy books or stationery. “It will be difficult for them to visit our shop at the hours when they are going back home from their offices”, he maintained.
But Mohammad Aslam, sales manager, Generation, Jinnah Super Market, welcomed the government decision of closing shops at 8 pm. “There will not be any difference like first we used to open the shop at 11am. Now, we’ll do it at 9am and close it at 8pm,” he said. He further said by doing this he would get time to go home early and spend it with his family. Aslam said saving electricity was more important and people, who shop late hours could do it earlier, too.