Sialkot mob attack will haunt Pakistan for decades. Pakistan will face the aftershocks of this attack for several years to come. These aftershocks will vary because the world community will be more doubtful on Pakistan’s character in terms of handling foreigners in the country. In all terms, this issue will keep getting a serious negative media coverage across the world. And, the entire country will face the jolts of this inhumane activity for several decades to come.
The city of Allama Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet, has historically been relevant in terms of its heritage, culture, economic activity and great poets in the region. However, Sialkot has been in Pakistani media for all the wrong reasons in the past few years. A French woman was raped in front of her children last year. The incident took place on Lahore Sialkot motorway. This resulted in infuriated responses across the country. However, not much could be achieved in terms of nabbing the culprits.
Sialkot: The Export Hub
It may be noted that Sialkot is an export hub of Pakistan with several thousands of workforce from across the world. The city has recently established its own private airport to deal with direct exports from Pakistan across the world. The exports from Sialkot reach different areas in Europe, Americas, Middle East and South East Asian nations. Most importantly, the city is famous for exporting sports goods across the world.
The FIFA World Cup’s footballs are also exported from the Sialkot city. Moreover, it also produces millions of other sports products such as soccer balls, wickets, bats and balls for cricket; and it also produces several board games such as chess, Ludo’s and carom boards. The city also produces huge quantities of sports apparels for several international brands. Sialkot is also a hub of leather exports from Pakistan.
Sialkot held 10% share of Pakistan’s exports in 2019. The city’s exports estimates show $2.5 billion of exports out of total $23 billion in the fiscal year. Yet, this mob attack will have consequences for the business activities in the city.
Prime Minister Imran Khan immediately condemned the attack on Sri Lankan citizen on his social media accounts. He tweeted: “The horrific vigilante attack on factory in Sialkot & the burning alive of Sri Lankan manager is a day of shame for Pakistan. I am overseeing the investigations & let there be no mistake all those responsible will be punished with full severity of the law. Arrests are in progress.”
Several social media users questioned the action of extremists by killing an unarmed man.
— 💙قلبِ فِگار (@qalbefigar) December 3, 2021
The international response is yet to come. The international media will bash Pakistani radicalism. However, the immediate responses are from the diplomatic community. The German Ambassador in Pakistan also reacted to the attack. He said that the attack is deeply disturbing. However, he appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan for quick action.
What happened in #Sialkot today is deeply disturbing. I welcome the quick action by PM @ImranKhanPTI in this regard & hope that all those responsible for this tragedy will be brought to justice. https://t.co/lmskpmanG2
— Bernhard Schlagheck (@GermanyinPAK) December 3, 2021
The social media is full of voices against the barbaric attack on Sri Lankan citizen. The government has also begun action against the mob participants. A journalist claimed that over 100 people have been arrested as government is nabbing the culprits in Sialkot.
*Update on #Sialkot incident:*
• 100+ arrested so far
• One of the main culprits Farhan Idrees has also been arrested
• Police is identifying all the culprits using CCTV footages@SLinPakistan pic.twitter.com/weJpzRMEve
— Sumaira Khan (@sumrkhan1) December 3, 2021
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However, the incident may result in serious economic challenges for Pakistan. A number of countries who import Pakistani products from Sialkot may abandon their orders. Thus, there might be serious challenges ahead for the country after Sialkot incident.