Islamabad: Traders in Pakistan on Tuesday downed shutters to observe a nationwide strike against Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s economic policies and tax measures.

Trade came to a standstill due to the protest, which will continue on Wednesday. Pressing for their demands, the traders closed shops, malls and other businesses in major cities such as Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

The strike comes at a time when opposition leader Fazl-ur-Rehman is holding an “Azadi march” to the national capital, demanding Imran Khan’s resignation. Several trade organisations have also supported the protest march.

“Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s government has paralysed our business. several traders have shut shop due to inflation and increased taxes,” said Mehr Ilahi, President, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s trade organisation.

Another trader from Islamabad said, “This is our message to the government. We are unhappy with the government’s policies.”

Khan’s government has already made it clear that it won’t change its economic policies.

The cash-strapped country has signed a three-year bailout package with the IMF. In a bid to boost revenues the government is undertaking tax reforms, putting a financial strain on the public. Inflation is at an all-time high. Prices of gas and electricity have risen sky-high.

Opposition parties have alleged that the ministers and government officers are working on the IMF’s agenda to completely destroy Pakistan’s economy.