Punjab suffers Rs45bn losses due to sit-ins

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VIAABDULLAH MUGHAL
SOURCEBusiness Recorder
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LAHORE: All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Taajran President Khalid Pervaiz has claimed that businessmen have incurred an estimated loss of Rs45 billion only in Punjab during last three days due to the sit-ins and protest demonstrations by the supporters of religio-political parties, mainly Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), at a time when the country is already passing through one of the worst economic crisis.

He said although many traders have taken a sigh of relief after the TLP leadership and supporters wrapped up their sit-in and protest across the country, but many businessmen are still worried about the their expected return in streets since the agreement which was signed between the government and the agitators was “very weak”. He, however, restrained himself from further commenting on the agreement.

“Out of the total estimated losses, we have not calculated the losses incurred by many people to their properties, vehicles and other precious items,” he claimed and emphasized that a number of traders are very disappointed by the attitude of the government towards handling the agitators.

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According to Khalid, the traders in all small and major markets are extremely concerned about their businesses since there are apprehensions that the agitators may take to the streets again on a single call of their leaders and demanded of the state-institutions, particularly the Supreme Court, to take notice of these incidents.

He said the way the protestors had negotiated and signed an agreement with the federal and Punjab government for the conclusion of their sit-ins and demonstrations indicates that there is no writ of the state. “If someone can easily skip legal action after using objectionable language against our “most important” institutions, then where do we stand?” Khalid wondered while responding to a query. “Why we failed to implement the write of the state against such agitators,” he further questioned.

He added that the province, especially Lahore, would have turned into a war zone area had the lockdown continued for a couple of days.

Late on Friday night, the TLP agreed to end its protest sit-ins across the country after reaching an agreement with the government. However, the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA), a faction of the TLP, distanced itself from the agreement and continued its sit-in outside the Data Darbar till filling of this report.

(This news/article originally appeared in Business Recorder on November 4th, 2018)

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