Islamabad - As the government paid no heed to the shutter-down strike observed by traders in the federal capital on Tuesday last, the business community has summoned the meeting of Joint Action Committee today (Thursday) to decide next course of action against the government’s decision of closing shops at 8:00pm.

“The government has not yet approached the traders to resolve the issue despite we observed a complete shutter-down strike in the city on Tuesday. We have called the meeting of joint action committee on Thursday to decide next course of action,” said Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while talking to The Nation. He further said that businessmen would consider several options to register their protest against the decision of closing market early. “There is no logic to close the market at 8:00pm, as the decision will result in massive economic loss to the business community,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rauf Alam, Chairman Joint Action Committee of traders, stressed upon the government to withdraw its decision for early closure of shops in Islamabad and not to compel the traders of the federal capital to consider deciding next course of action for protection of their business rights.

He said the successful shutter-down strike by traders on Tuesday has further strengthened the unity in business community and added that this unity will also help them in getting resolved their other issues as well.

Abdul Rauf Alam said that traders of Islamabad were facing many issues related to CDA, local administration, income tax and police and in these conditions forcing them to close shops at peak shopping hours would add to their problems. He said it was unfortunate that not a single trade leader or trade body of Islamabad was taken on board on this important issue and a unilateral decision was imposed on traders.

He said a uniform policy for energy conservation should be made for the whole country and reiterated that traders would never accept early closure of shops in Islamabad at the cost of their business interests.

He said joint action committee would call a meeting of all market unions to decide next course of action if the government did not withdraw its decision and take them into confidence on this issue.

He also thanked joint action committee members Muzammil Hussain Sabri, Kamran Abbasi, Ajmal Baloch, M Kashif Chaudhry and M Ejaz Abbasi as well as presidents and general secretaries of all market unions for their efforts to make the strike successful.

The eaders of business community said that traders wanted to run business activities in a peaceful environment, but coercive measures of local administration were disturbing the peace of the city. They stressed that the government should sit with traders on this burning issue and find out a win-win solution of the problem so that the economy could be improved with joint efforts.