The federal government has started sending containers back to ports as the politically-charged atmosphere has begun to subside. The Islamabad administration had installed the containers on the city roads to block marchers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek from reaching Islamabad and containing them to certain areas. A ruthless official machinery had been used to impound the containers, which were carrying consignments for various destinations at home and abroad. Containers are the main source of goods transportation for overseas destinations and this kind of unmindful step will serve nothing but shame and losses for the business community and the country. It is very unfortunate who in the official circles has floated this kind of idea to involve a community in the dirty business of politics which provides revenue and earning hand to the national exchequer and it has nothing to do with any kind of realpolitik.
Now as the situation has started returning to normal, the owners of containers have demanded the Islamabad administration to pay them compensation which will also be in billions of rupees. This step of the government has not only challenged the credibility of the Pakistani businessmen in eyes of their business partners abroad, but also billions of dollars foreign exchange losses to the national exchequer. The Pakistanis are already deemed as ‘unreliable’ in some foreign business circles thanks to black sheep in our business community and good offices of our hostile neighbour which funds anti-Pakistan lobbies all over the world. The government unwise steps have worsened the situation. According to reports, the Islamabad administration has asked the federal interior ministry to compensate the owners of containers, which in turn has asked the federal finance ministry for funds to pay the losses and rent.
According to a report in Customs Today, some containers were loaded with export and import consignments, but the goods are allegedly stolen and some containers are damaged to the extent that these are irreparable.
The current political situation has given another shock to our fragile economy and this kind of manmade troubles can prove to be disastrous for the future outlook of the country’s economy. It is a known fact all over the world that political matters should be handled politically. The government and the opposition in Pakistan should ensure that the economy should not suffer from any kind of political campaign as the wheel of business and trade should continue in any situation.