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LAHORE: All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajran (APAT) Secretary General Naeem Mir has requested Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to notice of alleged forceful closure of markets by personnel of the Pak Army and Rangers.

“We (traders) request Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to take notice of forceful closure of markets and shops by the personnel of Pak army backed/assisted by the police and district administration,” the senior trader demanded in a statement issued on Sunday.

It may be mentioned that the demand from the army chief came a few days after the APAT announced that small traders would not close their shops or businesses till ‘Chaand Raat’ and any attempt by law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in this regard would result in “strong clashes”.

“The Pak Army is a highly respectable institution in the eyes of public. Therefore, the fear and respect of this institution should not be compromised at any cost,” Mir said, adding that the government by implementing “forceful lockdown” has deprived the small traders of their livelihoods.

He announced that traders have now decided to give a befitting response to the government for which they have also finalised an agitational plan after Eidul Fitr.

“We are making arrangements for protest movements in Islamabad after Eid holidays. We will hold a sit-in in front of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) office which will not be called off until we will get the resignation of Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and other “Aristotle” of the PTI government,” he announced.

He also called upon all bodies of traders to start making arrangements for the agitational plan as (small) traders cannot afford closure of business at any cost, especially in the last week of Ramazan, on the pretext of surge in Covid-19 cases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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