ISLAMABAD - Muhammad Abrar, owner of Men Saloon & Grooming Center situated in a house in posh sector of Islamabad, looked worried.

The reason, as he told The Nation, was the recently given verdict of Islamabad High Court which has directed the CDA to stop commercial activities in residential areas of the city.

"The verdict has given me sleepless nights. Seems, the investment (to set up the saloon) is in danger. Had the CDA not allowed me to set up business here, I would have been established it somewhere else in the capital city," Abrar said.

Situated in House No 15-A in street 16 of posh sector of F-7/2, his saloon is doing roaring business since 2012.

However, recently given verdict of IHC has come as a surprise for him and his workers. Abrar accused CDA officials when it comes to allowing commercial activities in residential areas. "CDA should not have allowed us to set up business centers here. We are paying utility bills with commercial rates. Even, we are regular taxpayers. Why would CDA stop us from doing business," Abrar questioned.

Abrar is not alone in the line of fire. Rather hundreds of business owners are having sleepless nights following the court verdict.

Situated at a distance of almost hundred yards away from Abrar's saloon, Tuscany has brought taste of Italian food to Islamabad. The restaurant has not only given tough time to its competitors, but also a source of earning bread and butter for families of 150 workers of this restaurant.

"We are negotiating with CDA following the verdict. It may be painful for us to relocate the restaurant. However, we will obey the court order," Muhammad Zahid, manager of the restaurant, told The Nation on Tuesday. Spokesman for CDA said commercialization policy in the capital was strictly implemented.

"Those commercial outlets running in residential areas have deposited the fees for converting residential houses into commercial ones. Those violating the prescribed policy were being penalized," Asim Khichi told The Nation.

The court had directed the CDA to stop non-conforming use of residential buildings in Islamabad in one month.

The verdict clearly directed the CDA to seal the properties of those who would continue the violations after the deadline.

According to officials of the Building Control Section (BCS) of the civic authority, as many as 1,500 houses (situated in residential sectors) were being used for commercial activities. Majority of these houses are situated in posh sectors of F-7 and F-6.

The court verdict has have delighted the business community of Islamabad which has long been pushing the CDA management to stop commercial activities in residential sectors.

"It's a great verdict. Businesses in residential sectors must be discouraged," the president of Traders' Welfare Association G-9 Markaz told The Nation Tuesday.

He argued, running businesses in residential units was contrary to rules and regulations of CDA's master plan. Hence, it must be stopped.

However, entrepreneurs using residential sectors for their businesses argued they had to run businesses in residential units as the capital administration has failed to provide them with enough space.

"We were left with no choice other than setting up businesses in residential sectors. We will not move until provided with alternatives," Sohail Bashir and other businessmen told this scribe.