KARACHI: The leadership of Businessmen Group (BMG) and Office bearers of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have categorically stated that any move to change weekly holiday from Sunday to Friday is not acceptable at any cost by the business and industrial community of Karachi in particular and Pakistan in general.
In a statement issued, Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairmen BMG Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala, Haroon Farooki and Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Younus Mohammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan and Vice President Mohammad Naeem Sharif stated that people and politicians, who are advocating of declaring Friday as weekly holiday nowadays, have a very short memory as it took strenuous efforts by the business and industrial community of Karachi to convince the government to declare Sunday as weekly holiday which was done in 1997 by Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif during his previous tenure.
“Anybody advocating or demanding of declaring Friday as weekly holiday is an anti-state element”, they said, adding that the government must reject all recommendations and immediately discard any such resolution in the National Assembly as holiday on Friday will not only cause immense losses to the business & industrial community but will also terribly affect the economic performance of the country.
They further pointed out that it was not a religious obligation to observe Friday as weekly holiday. The only obligation is to take part in Friday Prayers and in this regard, every organization in the private and public sectors remain suspended for two to three hours for Friday prayers”, they added.
“The business and industrial community of not just Karachi city but the entire Pakistan will never accept such an unwise and ill-advised decision pertaining to declaring Friday as weekly holiday because it will completely disconnect our businesses and Pakistan’s trade with rest of the world for three consecutive days every week i.e. Friday, Saturday & Sunday”, BMG leadership and KCCI Office Bearers said, adding that it will have a devastating impact on Pakistan’s economy by further affecting the already depressing exports.
They said that keeping in view the dwindling export figures along with Pakistan’s poor economic performance, the country cannot afford to have a weekly holiday on Friday. Even after 68 years of independence, it has not been categorically decided whether to give weekly holiday on Friday or Sunday as to date, the decision makers were confused over this non-issue which was deliberately being made an issue by some elements.
They urged the government to totally reject any suggestion, demand or resolution pertaining to declaring Friday as weekly holiday in the larger interest of the country. The current state of Pakistan’s economy demands maximum working hours at the private and public sectors in order to pull the economy out of ongoing crisis which simply cannot be done by taking such unwise steps.