Long march to affect country's economy: ICCI

ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said on Tuesday that the "Azadi March" of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) would prove to be destructive not only for the traders and businessmen of Federal Capital but also for the country's economy.

"The country has been facing different challenges, including terrorism, extremism and energy, and it cannot afford such undemocratic activities which will further deteriorate the situation," said ICCI President Muhammad Ali Mirza while talking to APP.

He said that the leadership of all political parties should join hands for strengthening the economy instead of hatching conspiracies for their vested interests, adding that August 14 was a national day and it should be celebrated with the spirit of unity and not as a day for dividing the nation.

He said the political leaders should settle issues at the forum of Parliament instead of disturbing the public life through holding sit-ins and rallies.

"I urge all the political leaders to show maturity and give priority to national interests over their personal interests," he remarked.

He said that already the business activities remained suspended for 10 days due to Eid al-Fitr and now the PTI's proposed long march and then sit-in had upset the business community as to how many days they would have to keep their outlets closed down.

Meanwhile, ICCI Senior Vice President Khalid Chaudhary said that Blue Area was the business hub of Federal Capital and whenever any political activity happened at D-Chowk, the whole Blue Area was besieged causing huge loss to the traders and businessmen.

He requested PTI Chairman Imran Khan to review his decision of so-called "Azadi March" in the interest of the country and the people of Islamabad.

He also urged the government to change the venue of sit-in from D-Chowk to the Faizabad parade ground as it would have less effect on the business activities in the Federal Capital.

Former ICCI President Ijaz Abbassi told APP that the march would harm the business activities in the city.

He viewed that holding long march was a democratic right of the PTI, but it was a right of traders to run their businesses in a peaceful atmosphere.

He said besides businesses, the march would affect transporters and common people also.

"The residents of the Capital will be restricted to their homes, while transport will be off the road. Those working in business centres and employees of public and private departments will not be able to reach their offices," added the former ICCI president


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