LAHORE - The traders, taking a strong exception to the government of severe power breakdowns particularly in small towns, have threatened to stop payment of bills.

This was stated by the speakers of a central traders convention organised by the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran in Vehari where traders from whole South Punjab ensured their participation in huge number.

Addressing the convention, APAT chairman Kh Shafiq, President Mian Abdul Mannan and general secretary Naeem Mir said that the decision of participation in long march of the PML-N will be taken after consultation with the executive committee meeting. Criticizing affiliations with political parties, they warned the traders’ bodies not to be sued as a tool in the hands of any political party. They said that All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran has been working only for the cause of traders and it would take every decision in the benefit of traders’ community. And decision of participation in long march will also be taken in view of traders’ community interest, they added.

They asked the government to take well-tailored and well thought out measures to stop huge power theft and honour the commitment of equal supply of electricity distribution across the country. APAT district president Jamil Bhatti, General Secretary Sheikh Saleem and SVP Irshad Bhatti welcomed the central leadership including President Mian Abdul Mannan, chairman Kh Shafiq and general secretary Naeem Mir, besides showering rose petals on them in the convention.

APAT general secretary Naeem Mir addressing the convention said that traders were unable to understand why the concerned departments were reluctant to take all the stakeholders into confidence on the energy situation.

He said that due to severe power cuts commercial activity was being hampered therefore it would be wiser on behalf of the government to take both the trade and industry into confidence over the energy situation.