LAHORE

As the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran’s Khalid Pervaiz Group formally announced to observe countrywide shutter down on Wednesday (tomorrow) during a press conference, the other group of APAT, led by Naeem Mir, which has already shown its strength on last Saturday, announced not to support the strike.

Addressing a separate press conference at Lahore Press Club here on Monday, Chairman of APAT Kh Shafiq informed the media that they have sent an open letter to Khalid Pervaiz, urging him to call off his strike because the unsuccessful strike will damage the cause of traders, who had already observed a successful shutter down from Khyber to Karachi on Aug 1.

The leadership of APAT including president Ajmal Baloch, chairman Haji Shafiq, central general secretary Naeem Mir, said they would not be the part of the strike on August 5 called by Khalid Perviaz group.

The leadership of APAT said, ‘We sent senior leadership of traders to Khalid Pervaiz to get united on date for strike but he refused unfortunately. But without his group’s involvement all other groups got united and proved that Khalid Pervaiz has no importance.’

APAT president Ajmal Baloch asked other senior leadership of business community to force Khalid Pervaiz to call off his strike as it would damage the cause of traders and the achievement businessmen have achieved through successful shutter down earlier will be washed away if another strike faces a failure.

Naeem Mir said that APAT has sent a letter through courier, requesting Khalid Perviaz to sit with them for the unity of traders and for joint struggle against the govt’s unwarranted taxation measures. We should adopt joint strategy so that govt could bow down and withdraw the unjust WHT on banking transaction.

He said traders are united in their voice against FBR chairman who is ineligible for this post. There were 2 million tax holders once but they are just 0.8 million now- a proof of FBR corruption and inaptness, he added. He said that due to wrong policies the traders have withdrawn Rs50 billion so far and this would result in more withdrawal if this policy continues.

On the other hand, Khalid Pervaiz, in a separate press conference at Urdu Bazar, declared that the country will see another historic shutter down strike on Wednesday. He said his group is being supported by transporters organizations, Karachi’s major trade bodies and Balochistan’s whole business community. He said that traders of Balochistan did not observe shutter down on Saturday and announced to close markets on Aug 5 on the call of All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran Khalid Pervaiz Group.

He said that the government should have consulted the true representatives of the traders and businessmen prior to imposing such indirect taxes. He said no businessman is against paying taxes but the government instead of imposing the tax forcefully should consult the real stakeholders.

In related development, the Progressive Group in the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has congratulated the traders and business community over show of unity and staging a successful shutter down strike across the country to press the government for withdrawal of 0.3 percent withholding tax imposed on all banking transactions. It hoped that the same spirit will be shown on August 05 and till the acceptance of their demands.