KARACHI (AFP) - Mohammad Ahsan is worried. The father of three was laid off last year when power outages and recession forced his bosses to close the garment factory where he worked. Ahsan spent months searching for work and finally a small garments factory based in a suburban industrial park offered him a job. But he now fears that a similar spell of unemployment is round the corner. Global yarn production is down. Pakistani producers are cutting local contracts and exporting to China, where prices are higher than at home. For Pakistani manufacturing already on the brink, its a death sentence. It seems the situation is getting worse again, said Ahsan. Living in Karachis impoverished Mauripur neighbourhood, he earns 9,000 rupees (107 dollars) a month. His wife works as a maid and contributes 2,000 rupees to the household kitty. Its difficult to make ends meet. We are hearing about further lay-offs. Were doomed, he said. The textiles sector is one of the key drivers of the Pakistani economy, accounting for around 55pc of all exports, according to official figures. Last week, thousands of workers in Pakistans key textile hubs Faisalabad where they blocked traffic and damaged properties and Karachi went on strike to demand a ban on exports of yarn and cotton. Manufacturers fear large-scale redundancies are on the horizon and some senior government officials agree with them. Export of Pakistani yarn lifeline of our value-added textiles makes our own country uncompetitive and benefits our rivals, said Khurram Mukhtar, chairman of the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association. If our industry collapses, millions of workers and their families would be deprived of their bread and it would be a huge catastrophe. It is true that uncertainty in our most rewarding export sector could force job cuts, said Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, PMs Adviser on Textiles. Baig said at least 38 percent of the countrys workforce was involved in textiles. In response to last weeks protests, Baig said the government had imposed a 15 percent regulatory duty on yarn exports for two months. But cotton producers, furious at an intervention they say will cost them money, retaliated with their own strike. We shut 450 spinning mills across the country to protest against the regulatory duty, which is one-sided and just to appease those in value-added textiles, Yasin Siddique, a spokesman for Pakistani yarn merchants, told AFP. He said spinners will strike at least once a week until the government withdraws the new tariff. The governments intervention has also sparked independent criticism. It will discourage free market strategy and deprive the yarn exporters of the profits they deserve, warned economist Ashfaq Hasan Khan. Fellow economist A.B. Shahid also criticised the move. The governments economic policies are so insensible and imprudent, they are going to foment serious instability in our country, which is already plagued with terrorism and serious law and order situation, he told AFP. The governments intervention in the textile controversy and imposing tax on the yarn export without consulting the concerned parties is bound to create a further economic uncertainty. He suggested that last weeks protests could be just the tip of the iceberg. Such policies will especially create unrest in our cities because people in the urban centres are aware of their rights and could take to the streets for violent demonstrations, Shahid warned. Ahsan just hopes his factory stays open. My family suffered a lot when I was rendered jobless last year. We dont want to suffer the same way again, he said.