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Traders’ loud and clear no to civil disobedience

August 19, 2014

LAHORE: Businessmen of Lahore, Faisalabad, Okara, Multan, Gujranwala and Jhang say they reject the call for civil disobedience calling it a conspiracy to derail economy and defame Pakistan.

“There is no justification for the civil disobedience call as it is given against foreign occupation while there is nothing like that in Pakistan,” said a resolution adopted at a meeting of representatives of 20 major trade and industry associations under the umbrella of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday.

The situation being faced by the country did not warrant such an extreme action on the part of elements staging protest in Islamabad, read the resolution. Rather they should have urged the people to pay more taxes to make country stronger in economic terms, said the resolution while calling for immediate withdrawal of the disobedience call to avert any economic disaster in the country.

LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said all issues could be resolved through talks and the protesting parties should adopt the same path for the early solution of the issues raised by them. Businessmen, being patriotic Pakistanis, would never pay any heed to any such call that could damage the country’s economy, he said and added it was beyond their understanding that what compelled the PTI leadership to give disobedience call at a time when the government had already shown its willingness to listen to their point view.

LCCI Senior Vice-President Mian Tariq Misbah said it would take a long time to recover the loss to the economy caused by the two long marches and irresponsible statements issued on the occasion.

LCCI Vice-President Kashif Anwar say the call also sent a negative signal abroad while causing a severe dent to the government efforts aimed at attracting foreign investment.

Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) rejected the call calling it a conspiracy to create anarchy in the country.

The business community would resist highly against any move to destabilise the country, said PIAF Chairman Malik Tahir Javed, Senior Vice-President Khamis Saeed Butt and Vice-Chairman Amjad Ali Jawa in a joint statement on Monday.

“How would day-by-day affairs of country be run if taxes, utility bill and GST are not paid,” they said and added the country was already facing a number of internal and external challenges and civil disobedience call would add fuel to the fire. Politicians should solve their differences through talks and parliament while keeping in view the best interest of the country. “The call is against the ground realities and an attempt to have clash between government and masses,” they said.

FAISALABAD: Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries senior vice president Riazul Haq told a press conference they were perturbed over the unstable political situation and rejected the threat of civil disobedience. He said political instability, marches and sit-ins had worsened the business condition causing loss of billions to the national exchequer in last 15 days.

He asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PTI chief Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri to resolve political disputes through democratic ways.

GUJRANWALA: Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Sheikh Noman Salahudin told a press conference the PTI and the PAT were destroying the national economy through protests in Islamabad. He said if gas and electricity connections were removed because of non-payment of bills, their factories would be closed rendering hundreds of thousands workers jobless.

Also, trade organisations took out a protest rally at the call of Anjuman Tajiran from the Rail Bazaar and to the railway station chanting slogans against the civil disobedience call.

The PML-N Traders Wing also took out a protest rally.

JHANG: Jhang Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Zulfiqar Ansari said the business activities of the country were booming but non-democratic moves halted the progress growth. He said the call of civil disobedience would undermine the economy and increase lawlessness and poverty.

OKARA: Okara Chamber of Commerce & Industry officials, at a meeting, rejected the civil disobedience call and demanded that the Federal Board of Revenue upload income tax return farms on its website.

MULTAN: A procession by the Anjuman Tajiran Mumtazabad from Gol Market to Main Mumtazabad Chowk rejected the call and said the civil disobedient movement would create unrest in the country.

Speakers urged the traders to come up with counter sit-ins.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2014