Naanbais end strike, accept government-set prices

Published April 20, 2024
With most Tandoors on strike on Friday, a number of eateries filled in their place and sold Roti and Naan to customers. In this picture, a worker at a restaurant prepares Roti. — Online
With most Tandoors on strike on Friday, a number of eateries filled in their place and sold Roti and Naan to customers. In this picture, a worker at a restaurant prepares Roti. — Online

RAWALPINDI: The All Pakistan Naanbai Association ended their strike on Friday evening and agreed to sell Roti at Rs16 and Naan at Rs20 after getting assurance from the district administration that their union leader would be released.

This was announced after the meeting of the association delegation with Deputy Commissioner Dr Hassan Waqar Cheema after Friday prayers. The delegation was led by All Pakistan Naanbai Association Secretary General Khursheed Qureshi.

Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz had announced that Roti would be sold for Rs16 and Naan for Rs20 across the province from Sunday, but the tandoorwalas refused to reduce the prices.

Talking to Dawn, All Pakistan Naanbai Association Secretary General Khursheed Qureshi said the association held a meeting with the district administration, and it was decided that the Roti price of the provincial government would be implemented.

“We will sell Roti at Rs16 and Naan at Rs20 from Saturday (today) in all tandoors. We gave the call to strike following the detention of association president Shafique Qureshi; the district administration will release him on Saturday (today),” he said.

Khursheed Qureshi also said they had no objection in reducing the price of Roti to Rs16, but there were some reservations about the price of Naan, which would be addressed in the coming days.

He said all tandoors had opened after successful negotiations with the administration.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government released a video message from All Pakistan Naanbai Association Secretary General Khursheed Qureshi announcing the withdrawal of the call for strike in Rawalpindi and agreeing to sell Roti and Naan at official rates.

On the other hand, people faced problems on Friday morning as most tandoors remained closed in many parts of the garrison city. However, hotels and restaurants did not close tandoors and sold Roti and Naan at Rs20 and Rs25, respectively.

“The tandoors remain closed in our area; however, restaurant and hotel owners cashed in on the situation and sold Naan at a higher price,” said Mohammad Rizwan, a resident of Kohati Bazaar.

He said majority of residents belonging to markets and bazaars had their weekly off on Friday, and they spent their morning in the rainy season searching for Naan and Kulcha for breakfast, but the restaurant owners were selling them for Rs30 to Rs35.

Sajid Raja, a resident of Chittian Hattian, said he bought Kulcha in the morning from Tandoor in Nayya Mohallah, a nearby locality, as it was open.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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