Markets and many businesses closed across Pakistan on Tuesday for a strike to protest against government measures aimed at meeting demands by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to boost tax revenues to bolster depleted public finances.

The IMF approved a $6bn loan package for Pakistan in July but warned that it would require ambitious fiscal measures and a sustained commitment to mobilise tax revenue to ensure funds for development while reducing debt.

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The two-day strike is the second since July called by business groups after negotiations with the government on efforts to enforce the paying of sales tax and catching tax dodgers.

“This taxation system … will bring death,” Atiq Mir, president of the All Karachi Traders Alliance, which represents markets in Pakistan’s

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