Muzaffarabad shut to mourn traderís killing

28 July 2008
The Dawn

Muzaffarabad: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir capital was completely shut on Monday to mourn the cold blooded murder of town's popular figure Alhaj Mohammad Ashraf Qureshi. Shops and all other businesses remained closed and vendors away from the roads and streets which saw thin traffic throughout the day following a unanimous decision of different bodies of local traders which they had arrived at shortly after the tragic news of the murder broke on Sunday evening. Lawyers also observed a boycott of court work in accordance with an announcement of the Central Bar Association Muzaffarabad to pay homage to their 'honorary member.' Besides, transmissions of all entertainment channels were suspended by the town's cable operators since Sunday evening for 48 hours to pay homage to Mr Qureshi who headed 'Traders' Joint Action Committee' since its inception years ago. Though lately the organisation was split into two factions but the division was invisible on Monday, as every trader appeared to be excelling the other in expressing grief and sorrow over the loss of a person who they said would spearhead every movement for the rights of the business community as well as uplift of the quake-ravaged capital. The traders held a big gathering in Upper Adda where they formed different groups which later drove to Gujjar Kohala, some 35 kilometres south of here, to look for the body which was thrown into River Jhelum by the killers in the dead of Thursday night. In their remarks on the occasion, the emotionally charged traders eulogised the services of their slain leaders for the welfare of his community in general and citizens in general and called upon the government to give exemplary punishment to his killers.