Textile sector lauds Karachi operation

| PBEA says action against criminals created positive effect on business as country heading towards right direction

ISLAMABAD - Lauding Karachi operation, the textile industry has demanded that in order to revive dying industry of the country, law enforcement agencies should carry out action against all criminals across the board.
The ongoing Karachi operation has created a positive effect on the business, and we are heading towards the right direction, but the action should be taken against every criminal, no matter, which party he belongs, there should be no blue eyed persons or organisations or political party, every criminal should be wiped off, said Shabbir Ahmed, office bearer, Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association. The law and order situation of the cosmopolitan was very bad, till few months back, if you are riding a car, you are afraid, that someone will kidnap you for ransom, even people avoid taking calls in public, that someone will snatch your mobile, but now things are gradually becoming better, Ahmed said.
He said improvement in law and order situation would attract foreigners and investment would bring prosperity in the country. A large scale military-led operation is going on in Karachi against criminals. During the raids, law enforcement agencies have reportedly arrested criminals, involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom and killings. These arrested claimed that they belonged to MQM, PPP, ANP and other political parties.
During a raid on MQM headquarter nine zero, reportedly, agencies arrested Shakeel alias Chhota, who confessed that he along with other accomplices set fire to Baldia factory in which more than 250 workers were burnt alive.
The accused said he along with his accomplices loaded a chemical container onto a vehicle and carried it to Baldia town to set the target on fire.
MQM and other political parties have strongly denied any connection with criminals.
Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, official of All Pakistan Denim Manufacture and Exporters Association said that the operation has created a hope among industrialists. We were in a compromised state, but now, after the start of operation, there is a new hope, which would gradually turn into trust if operation continues and all criminals are wiped out, he said. Baig said that it is early to say anything precisely about the improvement in business but it was on right direction. He said that he was sure that after improvement in law and order situation, market sentiment would improve more and at least outflow of capital from the country would stop and the industry which had been converting into warehouses would again start operating.
Pakistan Carpet manufactures and Exporters Association representative, Usman Ghani said that operation is very welcoming as law in order situation in Sindh province was worse.
Most of the cases of abduction for ransom and bhatta were neither reported in police stations nor were reported in media, so general public have hardly any idea, that in which circumstances we were doing business, Ghani said. He said that in his industry carpet manufacturers being poor villagers had no threats, however, when the carpets reach in market, the people associated with supply chain were targeted. Sometimes kidnappers would kidnap child of some businessman and ask for ransom. Sometimes the ransom amount was in millions while sometimes the criminals had asked up to Rs10 crores, he said. It was total chaos, you have to pay the ransom, either you can afford it or criminals have abducted you in mistake, if you will not pay, you will receive dead body, Ghani said.
A common businessman is fed up with the mafias that we all request government to wipe the culprits out and give us back our peace, so that we could do business and earn something, which would bring prosperity for the whole country, he demanded.
Faisalabad, Sialkot and Multan based textile industry representatives said that the impact of improvement in law and order situation in Karachi might take some time to reach the other parts of the country.
All Pakistan Textile Mills Association chairman SM Tanveer said that law and order situation was not only effecting Karachi industry but also business transactions between Karachi and other cities. He demanded strict action against all criminals in order to save the textile industry of the country.
Textile sector contributes 57 percent of the country’s exports. The production and processing of cotton employs more than 10 million people and generates billions of dollars in economic activity as it moves from production at the farm level through processing and retail. According to Ministry of textiles data, the industry consists of 11.3 million spindles, 03 million rotors, 350,000 power looms, 18,000 knitting machines and processing capacity of 5.2 billion sqm. It has the 700,000 industrial and domestic stitching machines. Businessmen related to textile sector demanded that operation should continue till all the criminals are not arrested and they also demanded that the arrested should be taken to task by investigating their cases properly and collecting all evidences that they could not take advantage of loop holes in the justice system of the country.

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