MULTAN-Local trader accused Commissioner Multan and MDA officials of ruining their business and causing hatred against the government, saying the traders of Zakariya Shopping Centre and many other areas were forced to shut their businesses by these officials.

Addressing a news conference here on Friday, Chairman of All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) Kh Suleman Siddiqui and others said that the business and trading activities in Hussain Agahi and Daulat Gate were suspended for the last six days due to unjust operation launched against the traders of Zakariya Shopping Centre. They said that the government officials forcibly evicted traders from the shopping centre and dubbed them as Qabza Mafia. "We were doing business in these shops for the last 35 years while fulfilling all legal and tenancy requirements. We've been deprived of our bread and butter under a pre-planned conspiracy to create hatred against the government," they claimed.

The said that the officials were provoking the traders to take to the roads and stage demonstrations against the government. They said that the trading community always played a key role in national development whether it be an emergency like flood or any other natural calamity. They said that the traders made all out efforts to resolve the issue through talks but the Commissioner and MDA officers blocked all ways. They demanded Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, MNA Aamir Dogar and MPA Javed Ansari to take notice of this situation and get the issue resolved. They warned that if their grievances were not addressed they would observe a shutter down strike across the South Punjab region and Commissioner as well as MDA officers would be responsible for the law and order situation.

TCL ORGANISING LEAGUE

Project Manager of Tolerance Cricket League (TCL) Zain Baloch disclosed on Friday over 200 players from universities and religious schools would play cricket together under the league to learn leadership skills, tolerance and basics of cricket.

Addressing a news conference here at Multan Cricket Stadium, he added that the league was launched on December 18, under the patronage of Wasim Akram and selection of players had been done after trials. He said that the league held trials in Multan on 28, 29 and 30 December as well as Bahawalpur on January 5 and 6. He disclosed that over 2000 players took trials and former international player Imran Nazir selected the players with the consultation of coaches panel.

He said that the motive behind holding the league was to bring together youth from universities, seminaries and society. "It will build their leadership capabilities besides giving them an opportunity to hold a meaningful dialogue," he added.