LAHORE/PESHAWAR (APP) - All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has called off its strike after assurance from Punjab Governor Salman Taseer to settle the issue. The Governor visited APTMA office here on Thursday and assured APTMA office-bearers that a committee would be constituted to redress the grievances of APTMA. The Governor while conveying a message of President Asif Ali Zardari of giving an equitable treatment to APTMA said that a meeting of all stakeholders including APTMA members would also be held with the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan. He said that strikes and protests were against economic interests of the country. He said that the committee would listen views of all the stakeholders. The Governor said that he has discussed the issue with Federal Textile Minister Rana Farooq and he would work to resolve the issue within a shortest possible time. Later, talking to the media, Chairman APTMA Ejaz Gohar thanked the governor for visiting APTMA office and for his promise of resolving the issue of quota on export of cotton yarn. He announced calling off the strike of APTMA and said the government should work out the issue within 14 days. He said that APTMA had never been in favour of strikes, but it had to go for it due to the unavoidable circumstances. Senior Vice Chairman SM Tanvir and Muhammad Akbar Sh Vice Chairman APTMA and other senior members were also present on the occasion. Meanwhile, the spinning mills of NWFP remained closed on Thursday to protest the imposition of restrictions on the export of cotton-yarn. NWFP has a total of 14 operational spinning textile mills with a capacity of 0.6 million to 0.7 million spindles with seven mills only in Gadoon Industrial Estate, district Swabi. The remaining spinning mills are situated in Peshawar, D.I. Khan. Bannu, Kohat, Takhtbai (District Mardan) and Haripur. The management of the spinning industry of Gadoon Industrial Estates, locked out their mills suspending production of cotton-yarn and took out a protest demonstration along with the labourers of their units. The protesting spinners and labourers were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans against restrictions on the export of cotton-yarn. The sector is the largest employer of the province with 70,000 to 80,000 labour force. The management of all spinning mills was present on the occasion were wearing block bands on their arms in protest against the policies of the ministry. Addressing the protesting spinners and labourers, chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), NWFP Zone, Afan Aziz said that the industry had observed strike on the call of the central leadership. He said that spinning industry of all three zones were on strike and had closed down their mills for one-day. However, he hinted at extension in their protest if their demands were not met. He was of the view that some elements are promoting their own interest and want to cut the price of the cotton-yarn down in local market through putting restrictions on the export of the commodity. Afan Aziz said that the industry had passed through worst situation during last three years, but never protested nor demanded any incentive from the government. He said that the phenomenon of the free trade in the export was introduced during the government of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. He said that they are peaceful people and despite facing different problems, they had never registered protest as they are providing employment opportunities for the people. Chairman APTMA NWFPP was critical of the very imposition of quota for the export of cotton-yarn, he said that the whole chain of the value-added sector of the textile sector have no restrictions on export of their products. If the value-added sector is facing shortage of yarn, then they should have to avail the duty-free import facility as cut in the price of the commodity is not their responsibility, maintained Afan Aziz. Cotton-yarn producing sector with 350 spinning mills, he said is largest industrial sector of the country with US$ 7 billion turnover per annum. Annual export is worth US$ 2 billion and the remaining 5 billion is carried in domestic market. The objective behind restrictions on the export of cotton-yarn, he is to decrease the price of the commodity either hook or crook. He said that 100 spinning mills had already been closed down and if the situation remains the same 50 to 100 more mills would be closed rendering millions of labourers unemployed in the country. He said that the decision of Ministry of Textile have no precedent in any country of the world. The Frontier province, he said, had value-added sector unit and they had battled worst situation due to the militancy and terrorism in the province. In NWFP, he said, the value of total investment in spinning industry is Rs.20 billion and is thus the largest industrial sector and facing the challenges.