A worker examines fabric at a textile factory in Faisalabad, Pakistan. – AP (File Photo)

FAISALABAD, Dec 17: Industrialists attached with the textile sector announced on Monday that they would run their factories forcibly from Tuesday (today) and would not follow any gas closure schedule in future.

Entrepreneurs also staged a demonstration outside the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited offices on Sargodha Road and blocked traffic for more than two hours.

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association Vice-Chairman Zia Alamdar Shah led the rally. He was accompanied by representatives of the All-Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association, the Council of Powerloom Owners and the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association.

Talking to Dawn, Shah said the industrial units had been closed for the last 10 days although they had been promised gas for three-and-a-half days a week.

He said the Punjab government appeared weak in protecting the rights of workers and industrialists. He said industrialists of Karachi had been using the utility for six days a week, however, the situation was going from bad to worse in Punjab owing to the apathy of the provincial government.

He said all factory owners had called their labour to run their units by force and they would resist if any kind of action was taken by the SNGPL.

He said fertilizer units had been availing gas but the textile industry providing jobs to thousands of workers had been dealt with step motherly. He said some of the factories had started operation on Monday evening.