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Traders seek steps to check rioting

September 23, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Sept 22: The business community in the federal capital has demanded that the government should devise a system to reduce the chances of arson and rioting during protest demonstrations.

Though Islamabad and Rawalpindi have not suffered major loss of life or property, a few incidents of arson were reported on Friday and the concerned sectors criticised the government for failing to prevent these incidents.

One of the major incidents in the twin cities was causing serious damage to a CNG station at Faizabad, Rawalpindi.

“The total loss at that CNG station amounts to around Rs4-Rs5 million,” said chairman of All Pakistan CNG Association, Ghiyas Paracha. However, he added that the protesters damaged the station after seeing police vehicles parked inside.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has condemned the damage caused by the rioting mobs to private sector properties during the protests against the sacrilegious film. “The private sector is the backbone of economy, however, the government has not taken any measures to protect its interests,” said Yassar Sakhi Butt, the president of the ICCI.

Presiding over a meeting of businessmen at the Chamber House, he said the protesters should have expressed their anger in a peaceful and disciplined manner.

By ransacking the businesses and properties, the protesters have sent a very negative message to the international community as their approach was totally against the principles of Islam.

He said even the industries fell victim to the rage of the protesters, as the frenzied mob ransacked the building of Toyota Capital Motors in Islamabad, causing loss of millions of rupees to the owners and rendering the business almost non-functional.

The members of the business community noted that it was evident that the whole country was left at the mercy of violent mobs.

“In Islamabad, the writ of the government was only seen in the red zone, which saved the country from the bigger international implications,” Mr Butt said.

The businessmen demanded that the government should take measures to check the dwellers of slums from entering the industrial areas, especially during any law and order situation.

Meanwhile, member of FPCCI in the federal capital, Malik Sohail, said the most serious damage caused by such situation was that the investors lost confidence that ‘Islamabad is a safe city’.

He also demanded the government take measures that would ensure security to private sector.