ISLAMABAD: Scores of traders on Sunday held a protest outside the National Press Club (NPC) against the ongoing sit-ins of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).
The traders were of the view that the sit-ins had disturbed the financial system of the federal capital.
They appealed to the government to resolve the issue either by resigning or shifting the venues of the protests out of the city.
Say due to poor business, they were facing losses
They also appealed to Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri to consider the problems of the traders and find some other ways to get their demands fulfilled.
Addressing the protesters, Ajmal Baloch, a leader of the Aabpara market traders, said for the last eight days most of the shops in the area remained closed.
“Traders have to pay rent of their shops and meet other expenses but in the absence of any business, they are suffering. Besides, daily-wage workers are also out of work,” he said.
He added that traders who opened their businesses did not have much to do as participants of the sit-ins spent most of their time standing in front of their shops.
“They (protesters) come to the shops and charge their mobile phone batteries. They don’t even bother to get permission of the owners,” he said.
The president of the Super Market Welfare Association, Sarfaraz Mughal, said most of the traders purchased goods from wholesale dealers on credit and paid the dealers after selling them.
“If the shops remained closed, how can the traders pay back their loans. During the sit-ins, most of the participants sleep in the markets, and even in the ATM booths.”
He said traders in other markets were also suffering because they were not getting supplies due to security issues. The interior minister should designate a place for the protesters out of the city,” he said.
Mehboobul Mukarram, a trader in the Melody Market, appealed to the PTI and PAT leadership to consider the problems of the traders and shift their supporters somewhere else.
Talking to Dawn, Sarfraz Mughal said: “It has become impossible for the traders to get supplies of edible items because of security reasons. Even the citizens have stopped coming out of their houses.”
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2014