MANSEHRA: The nanbais (roti sellers) of Hazara division have warned that they will go on strike next Saturday for an indefinite period if the government doesn’t give them subsidy on wheat flour.

“Our business has reached breakeven point, so we’re struggling to continue with it. If the government doesn’t give us subsidy on wheat flour, we will go on strike for an indefinite period from Jan 18,” Hazara Divisional Nanbais Association in Sardar Zaheer Hussain told reporters here on Monday.

Accompanied by other association leaders, Mr Zaheer said the roti price was set at Rs10 eight years ago and the nanbais had been selling it for the same rate since then despite multiple increases in wheat flour rate.

“We have informed the government about our plight and asked it to announce subsidy on wheat flour supplied to us until Jan 17. If the demand is not met, we will go on strike the next morning,” he said.

Claim business has reached break-even

Association leader Sarfraz Abbasi said nanbais bought 80kg flour bag for Rs5,200 but they’re forced to sell roti for a rate from the days when the flour bag was sold for Rs4,000.

SHOPS BURGLED: Five shops, including three general stores, were burgled on the Jail Road here on Sunday night.

The burglars took away cash and valuables.

The police registered FIRs and began investigation. However, no arrest was made until Saturday night.

LITIGANTS SUFFER: The litigants have complained about the lawyers’ continuous strike against the recent changes to drug and civil laws and said the courts didn’t hear their cases due to the unavailability of the counsel.

The lawyers had begun the boycott of courts six days ago.

Sheryar Khan told reporters outside a court here that the government should withdraw amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure and the enactment of the KP Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 2019, to end the lawyers’ strike for the relief of litigants.

“We have been suffering a lot due to the boycott of courts by lawyers. We show up either to defend ourselves or seek bail in different cases but return without attending court proceedings,” he said.

Meanwhile, the office-bearers of the Mansehra district bar association announced that the strike won’t be called off until changes to civil and drug laws were withdrawn.

Association president Amir Khan Swati told reporters that the amendments had stressed out litigants through additional financial burden.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2020