FAISALABAD - The enraged industrialists and workers on Thursday threatened to go on a long march towards Islamabad if the government remained failed to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to the industries here. They took out protest rallies and blocked the Motorway-3 on the Sargodha Road for five hours against the crippling loadshedding.

The protesters also burnt a rulers’ effigy wrapped in PPP flags and battered it with clubs. Raising anti-government slogans, they demanded the supply to the industries enabling them to earn their livelihood. Meanwhile, from Allied Hospital to Pul Dhingroo, the vehicular movement on the Motorway remained suspended. Addressing the participants, Pakistan Textile Exporters Association Chairman Rana Arif Tauseef said that the survival of a country always rely on sound economy. He urged the government to revisit its policy of gas loadshedding for industries and let them flourish to save millions of workers from going jobless. He contented that gas outage schedule was ill-devised and is outcome of mismanagement on the part of the gas authorities regarding its distribution. He elaborated that gas loadshedding for the Punjab province was a discriminative act, demanding equal distribution of gas across the country.

Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association Vice Chairman Qamar Aftab was of the view that industrialists were playing a vital role in strengthening the national economy and if their business suffered, it would directly hit the economy.  He urged the government to take urgent remedial measures to end their woes. He said that the industrialists were striving hard to keep the wheel of economy running. However, he added, the government was not paying heed to their problems due to which they have been pushed to the wall.

Likewise, All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association Chairman Mian Aftab Ahmad said that the government was playing havoc with the textile industry and exports, adding that  the exporters were already under great pressure being the competitive in world markets. “If the exporters cannot meet their export consignments and supply deadlines, the buyers would be disappointed and Pakistani exporters would be thrown out of their hard-won markets,” he warned.

The industrialists and workers urged the government urgently solve the issue of national importance and ensure optimum supply of gas to the industry.

Later, former textile minister Rana Farooq Saeed assured them of his complete support. He also pledged to take up the issue to the government. He said that industrial workers were the pride of the country and key players in building the national economy. The government was fully aware of the problems of the industries and Zardari had taken a notice of the matter and ordered gas authorities to overcome the crisis immediately, he concluded.