LAHORE: The markets of Lahore remained largely unaffected by the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision to disqualify prime minster Nawaz Sharif.
Very few wholesale markets of Lahore, apart from the Iron Market, were closed after the decision. Other wholesale markets like Shah Alam Hall road and allied markets continued with their usual business.
Since the verdict came just before Friday prayers, followed by some protests of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, many shopkeepers and businessman took a break to analyse the situation. Some trade leaders from the ruling party held demonstrations in favour of their leaders following which they decided to close their businesses.
“We condemn the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif and are going to shut down the market as a protest,” said Iron Market secretary general Inam-Ul-Haq.
However, as the situation remained stable, traders resumed their business activities in the wholesale markets, though they failed to generate much business from the rest of the day.
“We just closed our shops to avoid any untoward situation, which tends to arise in Pakistan after such a decision,” said Abid Shah, a medium-size trader of the iron market. We are now used to with such situations, business activities should not be disrupted, whosoever becomes the next prime,” he added.
Other main business centres of Lahore like Mall road, Liberty Market, main boulevards, malls and other shopping plazas remained open throughout the day. All Pakistan Transport Owner Federation Chairman Azam Khan Niazi said his organisation held some protests in favour of their leaders, but the situation returned to normal after a few hours.
“We don’t support closing of business activities, in any case. If any group wants to protest, the government should allocate a spot for them,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2017.