Punjab Government’s announcement of locking down all markets in the province for 9 days (28th July to 5th August) executed anger among the traders who categorically rejected the decision and announced their plan of action to counter the government’s initiative.
Trader leader Sharjeel Mir shared a video message which revealed that the traders supported the government when it earlier had announced the lock down. He added that awareness campaign was launched to combat the Covid-19 and contain the spread of virus. He commended the government’s initiative of converting complete lock down into smart lock down earlier however regretfully told that the traders could not afford more lockdowns as there was a remarkable decrease in the Covid-19 cases and they had already suffered huge losses due to closure of businesses. Sharjeel firmly announced that the traders would strongly resist the lockdown, if the provincial government did not change its decision.
DC Islamabad announces closure of Margalla Hills, parks, picnic points and Murree expressway till end of Eid holidays
President of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), Saboor Malik told that the traders had already faced a huge financial crisis during the lockdown and the government’s recent announcement for imposing a nine-day long lockdown would add to their financial problems and difficulties. He was addressing a press conference at the RCCI office along with other leaders. Saboor added that they had cooperated with the government to fight against the pandemic when the first lockdown was implemented but now it was not possible for the traders to follow the lockdown just before Eid-ul-Azha. He demanded the government to review its decision that was nothing but the financial murder of the traders.
Sohail Altaf told that different unions from the province were supporting the traders’ position in the current scenario as the government did not seem to be serious in resolving their problems. He urged the government to allow them to carry on their uninterrupted business activities till Eid to earn the bread and butter for their kids.
On the other hand the capital administration locked down all public places to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during Eid days. Officials claimed that the Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat issued directive for the closure of Margalla Hills, picnic points, parks, hotels and Murree Expressway till the end of Eid holidays. The business community of Islamabad rejected the smart lockdown in the capital and closure of markets in Punjab and termed it an anti-people initiative by the government.
CM Punjab will be responsible for any law and order situation in Punjab if he does not take his decision back, warned the traders
Ajmal Baloch (President All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran and Traders Action Committee Islamabad) along with the president of Punjab traders’ body Shahid Ghafoor reacted severely to the lock down announcement. They were addressing a press conference at the National Press Club with other members including Khalid Chaudhry, Taj Abbasi and Sajid Butt. The participants vowed to put up full resistance against the government’s action and warned that the CM Punjab Usman Buzdar would be responsible for any law and order situation if he did not withdraw the lockdown decision immediately.
They regretfully told that the Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz had recently announced that no more lockdowns would be imposed in the country. Mr Baloch also highlighted the statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan in which he had rejected the complete lockdown and supported smart lockdowns. The traders claimed that the said decision would contribute towards collapsing the local economy and badly affecting the small traders.