Sun, 12 Jul 2020

Ghizer [Gilgit Baltistan], June 1 (ANI): Small and medium businessmen, especially hoteliers and restaurant owners, are suffering huge losses in the Ghizer district of Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan as they have been facing severe lockdown for over three months amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

A local restaurant owner in Ghizer said, "I have six to seven workers and I am paying them daily wages. It is been three and a half months of lockdown and I have been paying them as of now. Now, we have no money left to pay. They are poor. Where will they go? I can survive but the workers are in distress. The government must provide us with some relief or allow to restart work."Gilgit Baltistan is under Pakistan's forceful occupation where the government hardly cares about the concerns of the people.

The small businessmen in the region continue to allege discrimination by Islamabad.

"The way businessmen in Pakistan are working amid lockdown, we are not allowed to work here. There is a complete lockdown in our area. Even a junior official come and put restrictions on us. There is no law in Ghizer district. We cook food and suddenly a police officer comes and forces us to shut our businesses. This causes us huge losses," he said.

Gilgit Baltistan, bordering China's Xinjiang region, has registered over 700 coronavirus cases and the government has abruptly imposed lockdown fearing an outbreak due to poor medical facilities.

Pakistan's coronavirus cases on Monday crossed 72,000-mark with 2,964 new patients while the death toll climbed to 1,543 after 60 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

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