Government should provide space to Swat affected businessmen for restarting their business activities – Ishtiaq Qureshi

  • May 20, 2009
Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry called upon the federal and NWFP governments to provide suitable space to Swat affected businessmen so that they could restart business activities till their final return to their native areas. He said with the start of military operation in Swat, Dir, Buner and other areas, large number of businessmen have moved from these areas leaving behind their goods unprotected which are now getting wasted. In this hour of need, federal and provincial governments should allocate them proper space along with providing logistics support for shifting their goods to such places so that instead of looking for aid & donations, they could earn their livelihood with respect and dignity.

Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi suggested that affected business community of Swat operation should be relocated near the camps of IDPs as this arrangement will also help IDPs in meeting their day to day needs of consumption items. He said if military operation against militants gets prolonged, it would be difficult for the government to fulfill day to day human needs of IDPs on long term basis. However, with the relocation of affected businessmen near camp areas, miseries of IDPs could be sufficiently minimized. Moreover, with the revival of business activities in relocated areas, many persons from IDPs could also get job opportunities enabling them to stand on their own feet.

ICCI Vice President further suggested that federal and provincial governments should explore the possibilities of absorbing maximum young and healthy talent of IDPs in labor intensive projects. This will contribute effectively in reducing burden on government exchequer apart from providing them a decent mode of earning. He said these people are very self-respecting and they would prefer to do jobs instead of getting aid and donations. Therefore, government should devise a comprehensive strategy to engage these persons in productive economic activities so that they could improve their living standard and contribute for the development of national economy as well. He said that military operation is not the only solution of ending militancy; rather it is just one component of solutions. He said if the government has to seek a permanent solution of this complex problem, it will have to invest heavily in infrastructure development, education, health and social sector development in these areas to provide them jobs and to end their  feelings of deprivations.