Defying govt orders, Traders announce opening of markets in Gilgit

GILGIT: A joint meeting of the Business Associations of Gilgit and the Awami Action Committee was held at a local hotel in Gilgit.

The meeting expressed strong reservations over the “unwarranted lockdown” in Gilgit and rejected the “economic murder of traders” in the name of lockdown.

They said exploitation of traders will not be tolerated. They demanded the administration to immediately reconsider its decisions.

The meeting participants said that the traders have been affected [by the CoVID-19 pandemic] for the past one year, but the government has not given any relief to the traders.

In defiance of the government orders, participants of the meeting announced to open all businesses from tomorrow with Coronavirus SOPs. They demanded from the Government and administration to cooperate with traders and implement SOPs.

It is pertinent to note that a few days back the GB govt had announced a number of steps to control a potential third wave of the CoVID-19 pandemic. One of the measures announced was closure of markets on Saturdays and Sundays, except essential items, and closure of all non-essential stores after 6pm on weekdays.

The participants threatened of protests if the administration tried to close the businesses by force. They asked the government to avoid harassing the traders during Eid.

The meeting passed the below resolution unanimously:

‎۔ From tomorrow, all shops, shopping malls and markets will remain open from 10 to 12 am with Coronavirus SOPs.

‎۔ The above schedule will be applicable till Eid after which a new schedule will be announced.

‎۔ Precautionary measures to be taken in all markets and shops to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

‎۔ The traders will close all markets for indefinite period and stage protest, if the administration tried to forcefully close and seal markets.

‎۔ The district administration should take all the trade associations into confidence before taking any decision otherwise the orders will be rejected.

‎۔ The district administration should deploy security personnel in all markets to ensure the implementation of SOPs during the business hours.

‎۔ The meeting condemned humiliation of traders from security personnel. The government should bind the officials and the responsible magistrate should deal the traders.

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