LAHORE - The business community on Monday asked the government to register FIR against federal interior minister Rehman Malik for misusing official powers by seizing dozens of containers forcefully and depriving the owners of their rent.

They said that presently, the whole team of containers, including owners and drivers are suffering in cold and harsh rainy weather in the open without any shelter, ration and toilet facilities.

They stated that Rehman Malik should also make payment to those businessmen, whose containers have been snatched on gunpoint, as he has received Rs.250 million from the government to stop long march. He said that government is presently using dozens of containers for purpose of road blockage to stop long march without any payment, claimed APAT central general secretary Naeem Mir.

He said that the interior minister not only should pay the rent of those containers but also compensate the traders for the loss of those perishable goods which are going to be wasted.

In case of any theft or loss of load in containers, the interior minister is responsible and he should pay from his own pocket, he demanded. He said that the owners of containers continued to face hardships, as there is no given time for the end of long march. He said that federal interior minister Rehman Malik held talks with traders of Islamabad, forcing them to open their shops on Monday despite fear of violence, carnage and bloodshed amid demonstration and rallies of Dr Tahirul Qadri.

He said that on one side Malik directed to close down all government departments and public and private educational institutions but on the other hand Tajir Action Committee of Islamabad was forcefully asked to open markets, showing the apathy of the government. “Who will be responsible if any untoward incident or ransacking take place?” Federal government, who failed to protect the lives of Benazir Bhutto and senior minister Bashir Bilour, how can it give protection to shopkeepers?

In case of attack on any business centre, shopping plaza or market, the responsibility goes to the interior minister. Hence, the FIR should also include the name of Rehman Malik along with other attackers.