Islamabad: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to direct the local administration and the police to immediately stop making arrests of traders till the negotiations between the Joint Action Committee of traders and the government representatives on the matter of closure of shops in Islamabad reach some final agreement.
Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Member National Assembly during a joint press conference with Joint Action Committee of traders had announced closure of shops in Islamabad by 9:00 pm as an interim relief by the government and had assured that local administration would not take any action against traders till the final settlement of this issue. Traders had also assured for no strike or protest during dialogue process.
However, despite the clear assurance of the government, 50 traders were arrested the very next day from various markets in Islamabad for not closing shops by 9:00 pm and were kept in detention for whole night, which was highly unfortunate.
He said traders had requested for closure of shops by 10:00 pm and Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry had assured to take up their request with the Prime Minister, but uncalled for police action against traders has created lot of concerns in trading community and led to protests in markets.
He said traders have already suffered huge losses due to Metro Bus project and other factors and they were looking for some relief measures from the government. He said traders don’t want to create any law & order situation in the city, however, forcing them for early closure of shops would affect their business interests.
Muzzamil Sabri said a uniform policy for closure of shops should be made for the whole country or for Punjab and traders of only federal capital should not be forced to close shops early. He appealed to the government authorities to always take business community on board while making any decision that has direct impact on business activities and stop making arrests of traders in Islamabad till the final settlement of shops closure timings.