Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is all ready to host the fifth season of Pakistan Super League (PSL 5). PCB would be hosting the matches in Lahore too, traders have said that strict security steps are required to be taken by the government, such as the sealing of the markets and roads for the facilitation of the teams’ movement, which would cause of at least Rs.23 billion loss to the local business.
While addressing a press conference in LCCI on Tuesday, along with Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmed, Sohail Lashari and the former presidents Bashir A Bakhsh and said that they are not against the cricket matches as these activities are super encouraging and help in boosting a positive image of the country.
He also said that the closing of the Liberty market and others in the neighbouring areas for just one day would lead to a loss of Rs.23 billion. He added that they are frequently in touch with the government and are putting the proposals to the government for making a long term strategy which could assist the business community and locals.
The president was of the belief that the revival of the international cricket in Pakistan is a good sign and would emphasize the soft image of the country however trade and the economic activities have equal significance, hence, the government should form a plan in consultation with the stakeholders for holding the sports event without affecting the trade and economic activities.
He also said that the revival of sports in the country is an evident proof of the reality that Pakistan is indeed a peaceful and safe nation.
He further mentioned that the LCCI and the business community support the efforts of the government focused on emphasizing the soft image of Pakistan but it is also important that the business activities should not be damaged.
He indicated that during the cricket matches in the recent past, Liberty and other markets and restaurants nearby to the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore were closed, which led to a significant loss of the business activities, not just for the traders but for the daily wagers as well.
He also said that a few matches of the PSL are to be held at the Gaddafi Stadium during March and if the markets would be closed during those matches, the consequences would be bad for the business community as people would experience further financial losses.
The LCCI President added that the business community is all set to cooperate with the government for ensuring that all the needed security steps be taken during these matches, but they also want that the nearby markets and restaurants should not be urged to remain closed as this would lead to the creation of the impression that the security conditions are not normal still in the country.