Decision to lift emergency hailed
Manama, May 9, 2011
The decision to end Bahrain's State of National Safety on June 1 has been welcomed as a positive and bold step by various sections of the society.
However, the government has been urged to keep a close watch on security to ensure there is no repeat of the violence that convinced His Majesty King Hamad to declare it almost two months ago.
Businessmen have greeted the move with optimism, saying it sends out the right message to the world that the country is returning to normal.
Even MPs have backed the move, despite parliament previously approving a proposal to extend the State of National Safety for an additional three months.
'We hope things go back to normal, but there are still people out there who have not been arrested,' independent MP Shaikh Jassim Al Saeedi told the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.
'Once these terrorists are arrested, then I can tell you Bahrain will be completely safe because these people still have relations with Lebanon's Hizbollah.'
A Bahrain-based banker, who lives in Seef, said although the situation had returned to normal over recent weeks, the news came as a welcome relief.
'We will no longer have to tell people we are in a State of National Safety,' they said. 'That might be OK for us (in Bahrain), but somewhere (else) it told people not all was well.
'The late night curfews had also become a minor irritant, but hopefully that will soon be in the past.'
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) board member and tourism committee head Nabeel Kanoo described it as a step in the right direction.
'It is a definite sign Bahrain is going back to the way it has always been,' he said.
'This will show the world it is business as usual. Everyone is safe in this country and once the State of National Safety is lifted, it will be business as usual.'
BCCI contractors committee chairman Samir Nass said peace remained a top priority, but said the decision should not be seen as a sign of weakness and urged the government to make sure anyone who broke the law faced justice.
'The moves that have been made by our wise leadership should not be taken as a sign of weakness and there should be no lawlessness,' he said.
Pegasus Real Estate managing director Aziz Mithaiwala, who has his offices in the Seef area, said the decision to lift the State of National Safety will boost business.
'We have seen business rebound in the last few weeks, but with this development, it is set to boom again,' he said.
Saudi investor and businessman Mohannad Al Madhi, who has been a Seef resident for eight years and has property at the Abraaj Al Lulu development, welcomed the news.
However, he admitted it was reassuring to see GCC troops on the streets to help maintain security.
'The confidence is already back among the people and things are rapidly improving,' he said.
'The lifting of the State of National Safety would mean it will be better for investors and visitors, who will see the development as a return to normalcy. This is a clear message to the world that Bahrain is back to normal and back on the move.' - TradeArabia News Service