Traders’ legitimate concern

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AS unending political confrontation and the resultant instability and uncertainty are taking a heavy toll, representatives of the trade bodies have announced they would not become part of any political protest, saying it would adversely affect business activities and the national economy.

They have expressed the apprehension that sit-ins and protests would harm peace and hinder economic growth in the country.

The woes of the business community are understandable as economic activities suffered hugely firstly due to the situation caused by Coronavirus, rains and floods and the political tension in the country.

The government is making concerted efforts to bring the economy back on track but these are not producing the desired results mainly because of political uncertainty as investors and donors are not yet sure which way the country would go in future.

It is because of this that there has all along been a demand for striking consensus on a charter of economy so that the business activities continue irrespective of political developments and any change of the government.

However, despite the fact that at some point of time leaders of almost all political parties emphasized the need for such a charter, there is no forward movement because of sharp differences and extreme positions adopted by political rivals.

It may also be pointed out that the gravity of the situation is being acknowledged by all including PTI leader Imran Khan, who expressed fears the country was rushing towards a default, a possibility that has been ruled out by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

But no one is ready to lend a helping hand to stabilize the economic situation and instead threats of long marches, sit-ins and protests are hurled continuously.

PTI’s long march from Lahore has so far proved to be a non-event as the party could not garner necessary support for the purpose, showing that people have become weary of politics of agitation and confrontation.

However, the uncertainty continues as the party has announced to hold a rally and a sit-in on the 2nd of December in Rawalpindi and it is understood this would, once again, paralyze normal life in the twin cities.

All political parties should listen to traders by expressing their commitment to shun politics of polarization and instead contribute towards national unity and solidarity.

 

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