KARACHI (PPI) - Karachi-based traders have decided not to pay bills of Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC) as protest against current 70 percent rise in tariff, besides warning to put a stiff resistance if the KESC carried out disconnection operation in Karachi markets. Talking to PPI on Monday, Chairman Alliance of Market Associations Karachi Atique Mir said Karachi-based traders have decided to not pay KESC bills till withdrawal of current rise in tariff. Special committees are being constituted in markets, which would resist disconnection operation if launched by KESC as a reply to traders' movement. If the KESC disconnects electricity connections of shops during the agitation movement, traders would be compelled to get electricity by Kunda (metal chain) system, he added.  He appealed to US Consul General in Karachi to use their influence on Government of Pakistan for withdrawal of currently 70pc rise in tariff of KESC. Only the US government could ensure withdrawal of recently raised KESC tariff, by using its influence on Government of Pakistan, he said, adding when all of our policies are tailored by the US, they are in a better position to ask our government to withdraw the unprecedented rise in power tariff to save Pakistan economy which is necessary for successful continuation of so-called war on terror. We, Karachi traders, are compelled to appeal to the US diplomat for interfering in KESC tariff issue as we have been disappointed by our rulers. Despite repeated appeals, no attention had been paid by our rulers regarding reducing KESC tariff and ending load shedding, he said. In past, such illegitimate hikes were withdrawn only after issuance of protesting statements by traders and other leaders but present rulers have completely ignored shutter down strike and wheal jam strike observed against the atrocities meted out to the people in the name of rise in oil, gas, electricity and wheat flour rates, he added. Received bill copies would be burnt outside Karachi Press Club (KPC) and KESC office as protest. There is no hope of meeting of our demand by observing shutter down strikes, so we decided to not pay bills in order to pressurise the KESC for withdrawal of the tariff rise, he noted. Continually rising KESC tariff and hike in oil and gas prices are pushing our economy to a complete collapse. Our economy depends on industry and trade, which is being destroyed under a pre-planned conspiracy by raising such tariffs. Electricity tariff rise has increased production expenses of our industrial sector. As a result our import bill has also increased, alarmingly. Our products could not complete the products of other countries in international market, as these are cheaper than Pakistani products. Foreigner products even after paying all duties and taxes to Pakistan are cheaper in Pakistani market than local products. The continuos rise in electricity tariff and oil and gas prices is responsible for these sad state of affairs, he observed.  Current 70pc rise in KESC tariff would also result in more electricity theft, as not only poor people but also middle class would find it hard to pay the new tariff. He said the present power theft ratio in Karachi is about 40percent, which would further swell when the consumers receive new power bills as per the hike tariff.