Business activities resume in Peshawar

No rush of people in markets as fear of violent protests still exists in some parts of KP

Peshawar     -    After the violent protests and arson targeting public properties, trade, business, and commercial activities in the provincial metropolis and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have gradually resumed. However, there is still a lingering fear of further violent protests in some areas of the province.

During a recent visit to the provincial capital, it was observed that business centres, commercial activities, and markets had not fully recovered from the impact of the previous day’s violent protests in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Partial resumption of operations was witnessed in all markets, bazaars, business centres, and commercial hubs in the interior city and its outskirts.

The number of buyers in the markets, shopping malls, and business centres was notably low, as the fear of potential protests and violence prevailed among traders throughout the day on Thursday. In response to this fear of looting and ransacking of their goods and other valuable items by unruly mobs and political activists, traders and vendors kept half of their shop shutters, stores, and warehouses closed.

On a positive note, traffic on the Grand Trunk (GT) road remained smooth, despite it being the site of intense clashes during the angry protests against the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi.

When interviewed, members of the business community strongly condemned the politics of violence and warned that such anti-state activities carried out by disgruntled elements would inflict further colossal losses on the already struggling national economy. They emphasized that politics based on confrontation and violence offered no solution to any issue and instead contributed to the chaos, inadvertently serving the malicious intentions of rival states. The business community highlighted that the current state of the economy could not withstand any further political instability. They stressed that political stability was universally recognized as a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth, prosperity, and development in all aspects of life.

In a separate incident, it was reported that unidentified miscreants had attacked the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan in Peshawar late at night, resulting in property damage and an exchange of gunfire between the assailants and police personnel.

The attack took place earlier in the morning when a mob stormed the Commission’s office premises, causing significant destruction. Eyewitnesses reported that the attackers vandalized the building, shattered windows, and set three motorcycles parked outside the office on fire. In response, the police confronted the assailants, engaging them in a firefight and successfully repelling them.

It is important to note that at least eight people were killed and 106 others injured in the ongoing clashes between PTI rioters and the police, according to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police. The casualties included four deaths in Peshawar, two in Kohat, and two in Chakdara, with over 55 injured, including 26 law enforcement personnel. The police also reported the arrest of 296 individuals involved in the riots from various areas of the province.

In the most recent incident in Peshawar, miscreants attacked a police team in the Hashtnagri area on Thursday, pelting stones at a police party led by a DSP. Several policemen, including the DSP and SHO, sustained injuries during the confrontation.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt