LAHORE                    -               Sports revival and trade & economic activities are equally important and there is need for planning to continue the both at the same time.

These views were expressed by traders of various markets at a meeting held at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Monday with LCCI Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad in the chair. Bashir A Baksh, Ch Khadam Hussain, Malik Kalim Ahmad and Rehmatullah Javed also spoke on the occasion.

The participants said that revival of sports activities in Pakistan was a good omen as it would definitely enlighten the soft image of the country.

But trade and economic activities have equal importance therefore government should make a plan in consultation with the stakeholders to hold the sports events without affecting the trade and economic activities, they said.

The LCCI Vice President said that sports revival in Pakistan and travel advisory by the UK government were an ample proof of the fact that Pakistan was a peaceful and safest country. He said that the LCCI and the business community supported efforts of the government aimed at highlighting the soft image of Pakistan’s but it was also important that business activities should not be damaged.

He said that during recent cricket matches, Liberty and other markets and restaurants adjacent to Gaddafi Stadium Lahore were ordered to remain closed, which resulted in significant loss of business activities. He said that few PSL matches were scheduled to be held in Gaddafi Stadium during the next month.

He said if the markets would be closed even during those matches, the consequences would be worse. The business community and those earning daily wages would face financial losses.

He said the business community was ready to cooperate with the government to ensure all necessary security measures during these matches, but they also want that the adjacent markets and restaurants should not be forced closure as it would create the impression that the security situation was not normal. He suggested to build a state-of-the-art luxurious hotel in the premises of Gaddafi Stadium Lahore for the guest teams.