Karachi

Commissioner Karachi backs ‘fruit boycott’ campaign initiated by social media activists

KARACHI: The city administration of Karachi has come up in support of social media-driven campaign of ‘fruit boycott’ – aimed at combating profiteering – contrary to its previous claims of controlling prizes of essential commodities during Ramazan.

Commissioner Karachi, Aijaz Khan, in a statement said ‘we support the three-day boycott of purchasing expensive fruits in the city that starts on Friday [today].’

“I highly support this campaign,” said the commissioner, claiming that such boycotts would help the city administration in making its effort against profiteers more effective.

Such a claim by the city administration annuls its earlier claim in which it fined dozens of shopkeepers for overcharging and arrested some of them for selling commodities at more than the fixed price.

Hundreds of activists using social media sites, chiefly Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, have called for a three-day boycott of purchasing fruit, saying that vendors and shopkeepers were fleecing people through overpricing.

The campaign is initiated by a group of citizens with no backing of a religious or political group.

Activists say the ehe experiment will serve as an acid test for next campaigns against profiteering.

A public service organization ‘Aawaz-e-Saarif’ kicked off this campaign against profiteers which has gripped the whole nation. Interestingly, unlike the other many campaigns, the message has been mostly shared on Facebook and WhatsApp rather than making place in Twitter trends.

The message of boycotting fruits on this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 2, 3 and 4) has spread far and wide across the country and people from other cities have also expressed resolve to abide by message of the campaign.

People from all walks of life including old and young are enthusiastic about putting the movement to test. Many politicians, journalists, businessmen and other influential persons have also seconded the campaign.

The commissioner, however, stated that the chief minister had directed them to garner support of civil society in the administration’s campaign to stop overpricing.

“I will ask the citizens to take an active part in the boycott called by civil society,” he said, adding that he and his subordinates would also boycott purchasing fruits for the coming three days. “We’ll break our fast [roza] without eating fruit in the coming three days.”

He said civil society had a right to resort to boycott. “It gives me pleasure that civil society has called for this boycott and I wish to see it succeed. It will certainly [teach] the profiteers a good lesson.”

 

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