Altaf Hamid Rao,
MIRPUR, (Parliament Times) : Traders belonging to all groups including the Mirpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tuesday took to the street agitation to protest against the recent re-imposition of the full lock down for a next couple of weeks by the AJK government in the state in the wake of the stringent measures to combat COVID-19 in the region.
The business community elders and their workers belonging to factions of most of the six traders organizations (Markazi Anjuman – Tajran) staged a protest rally in front of the town hall at Allama Iqbal Road defying all prohibitory orders in support of their demands for immediate withdrawal of the recent notification about clamp of the full lock down in Mirpur and rest of AJK w-e-f May 18 midnight. The AJK government had on Sunday (May 17) issued a notification imposing full lock-down across AJK in view of the rising cases of Corona Virus under the spirit to overcome the rapid spread of the pandemic in various parts of Azad Jammu Kashmir most particularly in the northern capital Muzaffarabad district of AJK.
And according to latest reports, the AJK government has, on Tuesday, lifted the full lock-down across AJK only for three days to facilitate the masses to exercise the eid shopping – in immediate response to the Mirpur traders protest. When contacted, press secretary to the AJK government Raja Muhammad Waseem Khan confirmed to this Correspondent over telephone Tuesday evening that the AJK government has lifted the full lock-down only for three days (From May 21 to May 23) on humanitarian grounds and an official notification to this effect has been issued Tuesday night. There will be complete lock-down on Wednesday (May 20), the notification said adding that the full lock down will prevail for a week with effect from May 24 to 30. Earlier, addressing the protest rally speakers including President and representatives of their respective factions of Markazi Anjuman –e- Tajran Mirpur including Suhail Shujah Mujahid, Raja Khalid Mahmood, Asif Dar, Shabir Chaichee, Chaudhry Shoukat and President Mirpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ch. Javed Iqbal and others demanded of the AJK government to immediately withdraw the earlier notification about imposition of the full lock-down in AJK. Lambasting the policies of the AJK Prime Minister Farooq Haider’s –led PML (N) government of the state, speakers said that the state authorities would not be allowed to exercise the economic assassination of the business community in AJK.
They underlined that when the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has, in its recent verdict on lock down, ordered the opening of the business even on week end and weekly holiday – Saturday and Sunday, besides the relaxation in lock-down announced by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, how the AJK government, on the other hand was trying to impose undue restrictions after restrictions committing, what they observed the economic murder of the working class belonging to the business community and others engaged in the trade and industrial activities in the state. Speakers categorically declared that the business community of Mirpur will open their business in all circumstances what come may by strictly acting upon the SOP and other preventive measures advised by the AJK government. They added that the business community could not bear further loss to theirselves besides thousands of the workers attached with the corporate sector as a result of the re-imposition of the full lock-down like restrictions in the area.