LAHORE - The traders, during a meeting with the leadership of MQM, have announced to launch a movement for the formation of Chamber of Small Traders.

A delegation of the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran, who visited the MQM’s Nine Zero office, stated that APAT, in the first phase, will contact all political parties sitting in parliament and try to convince them for the importance of Chamber of Small Traders.

The delegation, mainly comprising of Kh Shafiq, Naeem Mir and Mian Mannan asked the MQM Coordination Committee member Navid Qamar and MNA Kh Sohail would play their part in the formation of Chamber of Small Traders so that the small businessmen could organize themselves and get recognition.

The central general secretary Naeem Mir informed them that APAT will ask the parliamentarians to table the ordinance of Chamber of Small Traders, pending with the Standing Committee for Commerce, in the National Assembly for legislation.

He observed that traders will force all political parties to include the issue of Chamber of Small Traders in their manifesto so that they could get the support of trade community voters.

He said that with a view to build up pressure the APAT has decided to set up Chamber of Small Traders unofficially in all districts of the country. First of this kind has been established in Tando Allahyar and the city former Nazima Rahila Magsi also assured all kind of support in this regard.

Earlier, the APAT delegation met with the All Karachi Tajir Ittehad chairman Atiq Mir at Furniture Market, Araam Bagh. The meeting was also attended by Ismail Lalpuria, Jamil Paracha, Sharjil Kopalani and Sabir Senti. The APAT leadership concerned over bhatta mafia’s rising activities and constant killing of traders in Karachi, assuring them of full support and help from other provinces traders.

As part of the Sindh activity, the APAT team attended a meeting of the PML-N provincial office-bearers in Hyderabad on the invitation of N-League’s Sindh general secretary Salim Zia and discussed with him the issue of Chamber of Small Traders. Salim Zia assured the traders’ delegation of his full support in this regard, saying that he will raise the issue especially before PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif. The traders’ team also visited the JI Markaz Tabligh-e-Islam at Kacha Qila and met with general secretary Liaqat Baloch and other leaders, paying them homage for JI support for traders shutter-down strike. Here also the Anjuman-e-Tajiran leadership demanded the help of JI for setting up of Chamber of Small Traders. The MQM zonal leadership of Hyderabad also arranged a reception in honour of APAT where several trade-related matters, including formation of Chamber of Small Traders, came under discussion.

Thousands of traders attended a function at Jimkhana Club in Tando Allahyar while all newly-elected Sindh office-bearers also participated in the meeting where first unofficial Chamber of Small Traders was launched.

Meanwhile, the Anjuman-e-Tajiran Sindh arranged oath-taking ceremony for its newly-elected provincial office-bearers in Hyderabad which was specially attended by the APAT central leadership including, Kh Shafiq, Mian Abdul Mannan and Naeem Mir and Haroon Memon. The grand ceremony, beside others, was attended by a large number of district traders’ representatives from across Sindh and police and high-ups from district and provincial administration.

The central chairman Kh Shafiq administered the oath to all Sindh office-bearers.

Beside others, Haji Abdul Majeed took oath of APAT Sindh patron in-chief, Mashooq Jatoi as chairman, Abdul Qayyum Qureshi as president, Javed Qureshi as SVP and Waqar Memon as general secretary. Haji Zaheer took oath as central vice president.