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    Car dealers call off hunger strike

    JALALABAD (PAN): Car dealers, who went on hunger three days ago against a Cabinet decision on disassembling and selling parts of vehicles awaiting legal documents, called off their protest in eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday.

    The strikers wound up their protest camp in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, after Governor Gul Agha Sherzai phoned President Karzai, who agreed to meet representatives of the dealers, the governor’s spokesman said.

    Sherzai, who arrived at the protest camp in the afternoon, requested the car dealers to end their strike. He talked to Karzai over the phone about the dealers’ demands and the president agreed to meet the traders a week later.

    Sherzai called the vehicles, which have been stuck at the Nangarhar customs office over the past one and a half year, a national asset. He said he would continue to support the car dealers until their problems were resolved.

    Car dealer Dr. Mukhlis Ahmad said they were happy over Karzai’s willingness to meet them before any untoward incident happened.

    On Monday, the second day of the strike, at least 10 protesting dealers fell unconscious and were provided medical assistance by a team of doctors.

    Mukhlis said they called off their previous protest a month back when President Karzai promised to look into his Cabinet’s decision after the Tokyo conference.

    He said the Council of Ministers had promised several times that more than 3,000 such vehicles would be cleared.

    Another dealer, Abdul Saboor, said they had ended the hunger strike after Sherzai visited their protest camp twice last night. If Karzai failed to revoke the Cabinet decision, they would resume the strike, he warned.