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Business community backs govt efforts to combat terrorism

KARACHI: The business community has fully supported the efforts of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Gen Raheel Shareef for combating terrorism in the country.

They said that setting up of military courts and the decision of the chief justice to give preference to terrorism-related cases has enlivened hopes among business leaders for a prosperous Pakistan in the coming years.

“I see economic activities thriving in 2015 and also in the years to come, if terrorist activities are stopped. This will encourage foreign and local investment,” Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Ifitikhar A. Vohra said.

“We support the efforts of the PM and the army chief which are aimed at controlling terrorist activities,” Mr Vohra said.

CEO Pakistan Business Council (PBC) Kamran Y. Mirza offered a different view, saying it is too early to say anything as debate among stakeholders is still going on how to deal with terrorism and to make changes to the system.

It is encouraging that all stakeholders, like the government, the army chief, the civil society, the political parties and the judiciary, are now on one table and wanted extraordinary measures to deal with the situation, he said.

Patron-in-Chief of United Business Group and Chairman Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) S.M. Muneer said that the prime minister and the army chief are bailing out the country from the worst crisis of its history.

He demanded immediate steps to normalise the situation in Karachi and Balochistan and to take clerics of all schools of thoughts on board to ensure religious harmony. The resolve of the PM, the army chief, the top judiciary and leaders of major political parties has made a positive impact on sentiments of the business community, he added.

He said he fully backs the decision to establish military courts and the decision of the chief justice to give preference to terrorism-related cases.

Muneer said that the US has termed capital punishment as an internal matter of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2014