Open malls, stop sealing shops: chief justice tells provinces

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If all markets have been opened, then it doesn’t make sense that shopping malls should still be close, said Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed while hearing the suo motu case on the spread of the coronavirus.

The top judge directed all provinces to stop sealing shops over failure to follow SOPs. Explain to the shopkeepers why the SOPs are necessary rather than threatening him, he advised, adding that the authorities should not misbehave with them or ask for bribes. “Small traders may die of hunger if they aren’t allowed to open their shops.”

The shops should also be opened on Saturdays and Sundays because this policy makes no sense, he remarked. “Did the coronavirus tell the authorities that it only affects people on the weekend?”

To this, the Islamabad administration said that they will open all malls in the city.

The Sindh advocate-general told the court that all shops are open except for shopping malls. The Karachi commissioner, on the other hand, said that 70% of the people go to malls for window shopping on the weekend.

The judge said that they shouldn’t be closed because Eid is coming close and many people want to wear new clothes during it.

The Balochistan advocate-general said that there are no shopping malls in the province and all the shops are open there.

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