Islamabad, 21 Dec. 2020 (Anadolu News)
The Pakistani police raided the garages of two Turkish companies in Lahore early Monday, according to the employees of the companies.
The employees told Anadolu Agency that the riot police raided the six facilities used as garages by Albayrak and Ozpak Group companies, which provide cleaning services, at around 2.30 a.m. local time (2130GMT Sunday).
The police forced the employees and their chiefs out to the streets during the raid. They assaulted some employees in the brawl and did not allow the Turkish staff to take any of their belongings. The companies’ officials said police deleted footage belonging to the firms during the raid, but some video recordings were recovered.
Ozpak’s CEO Nizamettin Kocamese and Albayrak’s Project Coordinator Cagri Ozel said Lahor Waste Management Company’s (LWMC) officials, together with the Lahore police, raided the garages of the companies, the four belonging to Ozpak and the two to Albayrak.
They said that the garages had a fleet of over 750 vehicles, including garbage removal trucks, lorries and various vehicles, while the police still do not allow anyone inside.
The Turkish authorities said that the service contracts of the Turkish companies with LWMC would expire on Dec. 31, 2020. The officials stated that they were asked to deliver their cleaning tools to the Lahore administration through pressure and threat before this date.
They also said that they did not accept the extension agreement beyond Dec. 31 and did not intend to participate in the new bid as they feel discomfort due to the threats they faced and they were not able to collect their receivables.
A joint press release of the two companies described the incident as “an attempt to sabotage the decision of the leaders of the two countries to increase the trade volume” and “bullying”.
The companies are working to file a criminal complaint against the LWMC.
Diplomatic sources said that necessary initiatives were taken to provide a solution through negotiations between the Pakistani authorities and the companies.
On the other hand, LWMC CEO Imran Ali Sultan asserted that the action was legal and the vehicle fleet must be handed in to them according to the bid, otherwise they would apply for the support of the civil administration.
Turkish company officials stated that they invested approximately $150 million since 2012. Pakistani authorities are yet to make an official statement about the raid of the security forces who are still in the garages.