Small traders and businessmen in Gilgit Baltistan, a region under Pakist occupation, are facing immense problems due to over a month-long lockdown implemented due to COVID-19 outbreak.
The holy month of Ramzan is usually the peak time for many businessmen, but due to lockdown the occasion turned grim and they continue to face severe economic challenges.
At over a century-old Kashmiri market in Gilgit, the majority of shops belong to tailors and garment traders. They are now demanding the government to allow them to open shops for a few hours daily during the holy month of Ramzan.
There are some 50 tailor and garment shops in the market. A tailor said, "Once in a year, tailors have a season to work. It's not only tailored masters, but the craftsmen, who are totally dependent on this job are now facing enormous problems. We request that our concerns be resolved".
Another tailor said, "We are unemployed for the past one and a half months. If we are not allowed to open shops for the whole day, then we should be allowed to work from 8 am to 1 pm. We promise that all necessary precautions will be taken. We are burdened to pay for the rent of the shops. This is the occasion for us to earn".
According to Pakistan's healthy ministry, the country has reported 14,079 patients, as Punjab registered 5,640 patients, Sindh 4,956, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 1,984, and Balochistan 853.
Occupied regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir have reported 320 and 65 corona cases, respectively.
( With inputs from ANI )