Traders fear huge losses due to PTI march

ISLAMABAD: The traders and businessmen of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi fear that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) led scheduled “Azadi March” and subsequent sit-in on Aughst 14 would adversely affect businesses at a time when they are already facing financial losses due to some other problems.“This is not a good news for businessmen of the twin-cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in particular and for the whole country in general, as the march would disturb the business environment,” said Dr. Shumail Daud, President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry while talking to APP. He said that such kind of activities were not in the interest of business community as these hamper the businesses environment. In addition, he said it affects all the strata of the society including, employees, daily wagers, transporters and other segments.“The country is already facing challenges and such activities would further aggravate the situation,” he said adding, “I am not in favour or against such activities, but I look it as harmful activity for the whole country.” He urged for resolving political matters politically so that the peaceful environment is not disturbed. Meanwhile, Former President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Ijaz Abbassi told APP that the march would harm business activities in the city. “To me, the PTI must think and take measure that do not hurt country’s economy,” Abbasi added.He was of the view that if PTI thinks that holding of march was its democratic right, then it was also democratic right of traders to run their businesses in a peaceful atmosphere. He said that the march would definitely affect the businesses, transporters and common people. “People would be restricted to their homes, transport would be off the road, those working in business centers would not be able to reach their jobs and so many other factors would be the consequence of this march. So, if your are caught in the situation like this how come you do your business, he remarked. Meanwhile, Sajid Khan, a shopkeeper at Aabpara Market said, “We are already facing losses and these kinds of issues would further aggravate our problems.” Abid Mehmood, a government employee, said that they always have to suffer when political parties keep the city hostage whenever they want, and this would not be the first time that the commercial hub would remain closed for successive days due to protest sit-in by the political parties.It is pertinent to mention here that when PAT staged sit-in on Jinnah Avenue in Blue Area, the main commercial hub of the capital city, in January 2013 the business community claimed to have suffered Rs 7 billion in losses. Over 2,500 shops including offices, restaurants, moneychangers, and multinational companies’ offices in the Blue Area remained closed for a few days, resulting in huge losses for the businessmen.

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