Businessmen Protest Over Rising Abduction Rate

business-13-sep

Angered by the recent spate of abductions, local businessmen on Sunday staged demonstrations in Kabul to protest against the National Unity Government’s (NUG) failure to protect businessmen.

Protestors claimed that the government is turning its back on the business community and leaving them vulnerable to kidnapping for ransom.

Reacting to the growing number of incidents of abductions, business owners on Sunday closed their shops in Mandawi, Bagh-e-Qazi and Tahia Maskan areas – the main commercial areas of Kabul.

Protestors called for action by government to ensure the safe release of a businessman who was abducted in Bagrami district of Kabul, warning that if he is not released, businessmen will stop importing food into the country.

Five men wearing Afghan National Police (ANP) uniforms on Saturday abducted Wahdatullah, from Bagrami district. They also beat up the businessman and three other people were wounded during the incident.

“Government is turning its back on the security of businessmen. Government’s failure is a reason for the growing abductions,” a local businessman Meena Gul told TOLOnews.

“If government leaders are not able to provide security to the public, then resign so that people maintain their security on their own. Government must provide security to us,” protestor Ezmarai Ahmadi said.

Meanwhile, officials from the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) warned that businessmen will stop importing food items into the country if the government does not do something about the situation and ensure the safe release of the abducted businessman within 48 hours.

“If government does not ensure the safe release of the businessman within 48 hours, we will not import even a single pack of flour into the country until security is provided to us and we will halt investments,” deputy of ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozai said.

In addition, the father of the abducted businessman also called on the government to release his son from the custody of the abductors.

“I do not want anything from the government except the safe release of my son,” father of the abducted businessman Hajji Asif said.

TOLOnews correspondent tried to reach the Ministry of Interior (MoI) for comment but was not successful.

According to ACCI, at least 38 businessmen were abducted from different provinces over past two months.

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