KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui on Monday asked the Sindh government to allow small traders to reopen their businesses, alleging that it had already allowed some of its ‘blue-eyed’ boys to do so.

Talking to a delegation of traders here at MQM-P headquarters in Bahadurabad, Siddiqui said that if arrangements were not made for the livelihood of the daily wagers, it could have more deadly impact than Covid-19. “The traders of Karachi have been paying taxes for the last 72 years, but in the current circumstances they should be given exemption,” he demanded.

He was of the view that the Sindh government had miserably failed to control the spread of coronavirus as the virus was still spreading despite tall claims made by the provincial government. “Following the lockdown, assisting traders is also the government’s responsibility,” the MQM-P chief said. Speaking on the occasion, traders’ leader Ateeq Meer said that small traders and shopkeepers were finding it difficult to feed their families due to the lockdown, asking the MQM-P to help members of his community reopen their businesses. He opined that the Sindh government had no plan for the traders before imposing the lockdown.

 Traders announce to reopen markets from

Ramadan 15th

Separately, traders have formed a new alliance, ‘Supreme Council of Traders’, and announced to open markets from Ramadan 15th. Several traders held a meeting here at the office of Karachi Electric Dealers Association on Monday. The MQM-P delegation also attended the meeting.

JI supports traders’

demand for reopening their businesses

Traders will stage a protest demonstration here at 5-Star Chowrangi on Tuesday (today) to compel the Sindh government to allow them to reopen their businesses.

After a meeting with the representatives of traders’ bodies here at Idara Noor-e-Haq, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) expressed complete solidarity with them. It was also decided that a traders convention will be convened at Idara Noor-e-Haq on May 7 to discuss future plan of action in this respect.

Later, addressing a press conference, JI Karachi Ameer Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman said the Sindh government did not keep the promises it had made to the traders during last several meetings with them. He said the Sindh government should allow traders to resume their businesses under the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) so that their economic hardships could be lessened.

“The government did not take any concrete step to mitigate the sufferings of traders, daily wagers and others after imposing the lockdown,” he regretted.

He informed that the JI had carried out a survey on the present situation which had revealed that 75 to 80 percent respondents were of the view that a large number of people had already lost their jobs, and there was uncertainty about their future.

Economic activity in Sindh is still under lockdown and traders and government’s deadlock on opening economic activity remained unresolved that has multiplied economic miseries of traders manifold. He also criticised the Sindh Health Department for not providing safety kits to doctors and paramedics serving the coronavirus patients. He also urged doctors not to become what he called government’s spokespersons.

Secretary, Abdul Wahab, Deputy Secretary, Abdul Razzak Khan, Deputy Secretary, Younus Barai, Ameer district central, Monim Zafar, Information Secretary, Zahid Askari, All Pakistan Small Traders Organisation President, Mahmood Hamid, Naveed Ahmad of Naz Plaza, Shahzad of Saddar Motor Dealers, Saeed Ahmad of Hyderi Market, Saleem Malik of Karachi Sports Market, Javed Abdullah of Confectionary Association, Chief Patron Hyderi Market Association, Shahid Akhtar, Muzaffarul Islam of Gul Bahar Traders, Dilawar Khan of Saddr Traders Alliance, Naeem Zaki of Mithadar Association and others were also present on the occasion.