Pearl death disappoints business circles -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pearl death disappoints business circles

LAHORE- Immense disappointment prevailed among the local business circles with the Press reports confirming the death of US journalist Daniel Pearl.

Majority of them have expressed the fear that the killing of Daniel Pearl could cause a serious setback to the efforts made for the resumption of the business ties with the US entrepreneurs.

“The business relations between the two countries could be damaged owing to the killers of Pearl,” said a local businessman, adding, but the businessmen are not journalists, who live happy in adventures.

Pakistani business community, especially from the textile sector, is striving to resume normal business operations with their US counterparts which were suspended in the wake of the September 11 tragic incident followed by the US airstrikes against the Afghanistan-based al-Qaeda organisation of Osama bin Laden.

Not only the business community in general, but the government of Pakistan also remained very active in achieving the normal business ties between the two countries as the major portion of Pakistan’s exports are linked to US. The Federal Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood-led special delegation travelled to the US for asking the US businessmen not to discontinue their business activities in Pakistan.

The Mission categorically stated that the main purpose of their visit to Pakistan was to expand economic ties with Pakistan as a follow-up of the commitment of President George W. Bush to strengthen economic relations with this country and explore new avenues.

The President Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) Khalid Javaid Chaudhry, during his meeting with the delegation, highlighted the role of Pakistan to tackle the campaign, launched by the opponents that damaged the image of Pakistan the most. He also pointed out that the foreign investors may be misguided under the media influence thereby halting the trade and investment operations.

And despite the fact that the US delegation agreed with the LCCI President, one of the LCCI Executive Committee members, requesting anonymity, informed that one of the delegation members said that what they have agreed principally is simply for the Press, otherwise, the ground realities are suggesting a different picture and the chances of US investment in Pakistan are not bright.

“Remarks passed by the member of US delegation were shocking for me, and now more complications were created with the reports of the death of Pearl in Pakistan, commented the EC member.

Another businessmen delegation visited the LCCI in the same afternoon, whose members were not ready to move freely within the premises of the LCCI as they were briefed by their facilitators that they should not move around freely.

A Pakistani lady, who is performing the job of translator for the delegation, had warned the delegation not to move freely, who took the warning so seriously that they were not ready to leave the hall without having a green signal from their guide, who was actually misguiding them.

The reports about the death of Daniel Pearl could affect the efforts of normalisation of business and investment relations between the two countries. Especially, in a situation where the members of the foreign delegations are still either trapped by the media campaign or misguided by the local ones.

However, some of the businessmen are still very hopeful for the continuation of the process. “It is still only a Press report that Pearl has been killed by the kidnappers and no solid proof is with them like Sheikh Omar Saeed”, said an entrepreneur, adding, the killing of Pearl would not damage the business relations that much as is being expected presently.

Source: The Nation
Date:2/23/2002