Siraj Teli for winding up lockdown, deploying Army to ensure strict adherence to SOPs
KARACHI: Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) and Former President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry Siraj Kassam Teli, while urging the government to completely wind-up the lockdown so that all types of businesses and industries could restart their operations with full swing, also advised the government to deploy troops from the army whose presence and patrolling at various commercial markets would ensure strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) devised to contain further spread of coronavirus pandemic. In a statement issued, Siraj Teli said that Pakistan’s economy was already in deep crises and the country cannot afford further damages hence, it was really critical to restart all businesses with normal timings and get back to routine life in presence of the virus. “On one hand, we have to contain coronavirus pandemic but on the other, we also have to save the already ailing economy therefore, the patriotic and disciplined troops from armed forces must be given the task to ensure across the board implementation of SOPs, which has to be done on top priority in order to save the economy from plunging into further crises”, he said, adding that reopening of businesses under army’s supervision would help in protecting the businesses from complete collapse and save the masses from unemployment, poverty and starvation. Chairman BMG, while referring to numerous measures adopted by the Federal and Provincial governments since the imposition of lockdown from March 23, said that the federal government and all provincial governments strived really hard to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and they all deserve to be appreciated but unfortunately, the number of people affected by coronavirus continues to rise all over the country as the public and also the members of the business community have been largely ignoring the SOPs due to lack of discipline. “Pakistan army is well-known for its discipline all around the world hence, it is high time that the army must come forward to rescue the country, teach discipline to the masses and get the SOPs enforced all the time which is the only way to save our beloved motherland from further disaster”, he added. He stressed that the coronavirus pandemic is not going anywhere and we have to live with it and continue our businesses in a disciplined manner. “We cannot live in the lockdown forever so we have to exhibit the Discipline which is the first step on the road to success.” He cautioned that if the lockdown is not suspended immediately, many businesses, which remain completely suspended since last more than two months, would shut down forever that would lead to creating a chaotic situation as the people would find no other option but to come out on streets to protest due to rising unemployment and poverty. “Excluding export oriented industries and industries engaged in the production of essential food items, the rest of other local industries and also the restaurants in which hundreds and thousands of workers are employed, remain closed and the relevant businessmen are finding it impossible to sustain all these employees and are looking forward to close down their businesses forever which, if happens, would prove to be more dangerous than the coronavirus pandemic as in such situation, people would come out on streets to protest and may even create law and order situation so the government will have to act sensibly and pay attention to this pressing issue by giving go ahead to army’s deployment.” Keeping in view the overall situation and grievances suffered by the business and industrial community, Siraj Teli was fairly optimistic that the government would completely remove the ongoing lockdown in order to save the businesses and the economy from further crises, besides deploying the army at the earliest so that people are compelled to follow the SOPs for containing coronavirus cases.