FAISALABAD/SIALKOT

The ongoing political unrest in the country has caused a colossal loss of Rs3 trillion to the Karachi Stock Exchange, regretted top trade bodies of the country, asking the politicians to shun the politics of conflicts as it is detrimental to the national economy.

All Pakistan Dry Ports Association Chairman Muhammad Ishaq Butt said that the prevailing political unrest in the country was causing a big financial loss to the business community in the country.

Talking to newsmen at his Sialkot office, he said the containers carrying import and export consignments were being impounded by the government and these containers were being placed on different main roads across Punjab for roads blockage. He said that due to this critical situation, the exporters were unable to ensure the time dispatch of their export consignments to their foreign destinations, adding that this political uncertainty has also worried the foreign customers.

Ishaq Butt, who is also the chairman of Sialkot Dry Port Trust, narrated that the ongoing political protest by different parties was promoting a negative impression across the world. He said that the foreign customers were thinking that all the economical and business activities had been frozen by the protest being lodged on the Independence Day of Pakistan.

He said that the hundreds of the daily waged labourers and workers were being rendered jobless by the factory owners as their business activities were paralysed due to the political unrest.

Addressing its executive members, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Suhail Bin Rashid said that the loss of Rs3 trillion to Karachi Stock Exchange was not only the loss to the investors but it also reflected the economic conditions of the country and ultimately gives negative signals to the foreign investors. It will also add to the miseries of the commoners by increasing inflation, price hike and unemployment in the country, he added.

He said that after the last general elections, the people were expecting a peace period of five years to build Pakistan economically strong and prosperous.

“Our hopes were doubled after the grant of GSP-Plus Status by European Union to Pakistan,” he said and added that industrialists were optimistic to achieve the growth targets as almost all the economic indicators were positive. China’s announcement to invest 32 billion US dollars in Pakistan, mega project of Joint Economic Corridor and investment in energy projects further bolstered the industrialists’ hope to attract substantial foreign direct foreign investment.

However, he added, the political unrest fomented by extremist elements had not only nullified the achievements of last one year but also tarnished Pakistan’s image.

He said that political forces must realise the importance of economy and avoid creating uncertainty in the country that would ultimately foment poverty and unemployment in the country. He warned that Pakistan will become politically and economically bankrupt if the political parties did not mend their ways and policies. He said that politicians would hold responsible their opponents for the ill impacts of the political turmoil but public and business community well realise that they all are responsible for their miseries as they have practically stopped the process of progress and prosperity.

“It seems that they want to sacrifice even economy for their lust of power,” he said. He added that in this way they would lose public sympathy instead of winning their hearts and minds. He warned that if economic turmoil was not controlled, people would have to face its brunt for another many decades in the form of poverty, unemployment and price hike.