Traders want rent for containers seized to ‘block’ long march

Interior Minister Rehman Malik

LAHORE: The traders on Monday asked the government to register a case against Interior Minister Rehman Malik for “misusing official powers” by seizing dozens of containers and depriving the owners of their rent.

The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) has said that the owners and drivers of containers were suffering in the cold and rainy weather in the open without any shelter and ration.APAT Central General Secretary Naeem Mir said that Rehman Malik should also make payments to businessmen whose containers had been snatched at gunpoint. He said that the government was presently using dozens of containers to block roads in order to stop the long march.

The interior minister should not only pay the rent for the containers but also compensate the traders for the loss of those perishable goods, which were going to get wasted, he said.“In case of any theft or loss of load in the containers, the interior minister will be held responsible and he should pay for it from his own pocket,” he demanded. He said that the owners of the containers continued to face hardships, as there was no time limit to the long march.

He claimed that traders in Islamabad had been forced to open their shops on Monday despite fear of violence, carnage and bloodshed. “Who will be responsible if any untoward incident or ransacking takes place?” “How can the government protect the shopkeepers if it could not even protect Benazir Bhutto and Bashir Bilour?” He said that in case of attacks on any business centre, shopping plaza or market, the responsibility would lie on the interior minister. He said that some containers were full of dangerous and inflammable chemicals, which posed a constant threat to the lives of protesters. – DailyTimes