ISLAMABAD: Adverse diplomatic ties have stopped Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir and Secretary Commerce from attending the Aalishan Pakistan’ Lifestyle Exhibition scheduled to be held from September 11-14 in Indian Capital New Delhi.
The Commerce Minister Khuram Dastgir, Monday, told Customs Today that the very act of Indian government of cancellation of foreign secretary level talks scheduled to be held last month had hampered his or secretary commerce’s participation in the said event.
“Otherwise I was willing to inaugurate the exhibition as my Indian counterpart had also expressed willingness to be with me and if I could not go there I could have sent Secretary Commerce to New Delhi, but unprovoked and unilateral act of Indian government had made both of us impossible to take the lead,” he said.
However, he said that Chief Executive Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) S. M. Muneer will inaugurate the event along with his Indian counterpart.
To a question about possible impacts of opposition by a Fundamental Organization Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) on overall success and performance of the exhibition, the Minister acknowledged that any such development would maroon the overall performance of the event with respect to both turn-out of visitors as well as volume of sale of items.
He recalled that Hindu fundamental groups had been opposing organization of such events in India, however, Indian law enforcing agencies would definitely provide security on the demand of organizers.
“Even activists of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu nationalist group, surrounded the venue of such Pakistani exhibition last year and Indian law enforcing agencies stepped in to rescue and protect, and the exhibition continued as per schedule,” he commented adding, “Then Indian government granted three or four days extra time to Pakistani exhibitors to continue with their exhibition in the said hall”.
It is worth mentioning that the main purpose of such events is to showcase Pakistan’s best quality exports in India and “build on the efforts of the governments of Pakistan and India to normalize trade between the two countries which has potential of three billion dollars”.
All major brands of Pakistan are participating in the exhibition. More than 200 exhibitors will showcase their products to the Indian business visitors and some 600 Pakistani traders are set to travel to India for the big event that will provide Pakistani entrepreneurs with a platform and the opportunity to expand their markets.
A vast variety of top class Pakistani products, from textiles and garments to furniture, engineering goods, handicrafts, spices, jewelry, marble and services sectors will be showcased and there will be over 350 stalls and 150 expected participants, including high profile brands such as Bareeze, Sana Safinaz, Chen One, Khaadi, Al Karam and Gul Ahmed.
TDAP plans for the event include meetings with Indian importers, panel discussions and sessions on trade and business between the two countries in addition to musical evenings, an art show at the Lalit Hotel allowing young and upcoming Pakistani artists to advertise their work and fashion shows by designers like Faiza Samee, Shamaeel, Deepak Perwani, Chen One, Kayseria and Bareeze, and members of the Fashion Pakistan Council. Designer wear acclaimed brands like Sana Safinaz will be exhibited at ‘Couture lounge’. Food arrangements will feature Pakistani cuisine prepared by renowned Pakistani chefs like Bundu Khan among others.
Moreover it is also pertinent to note here that a fundamental organization Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) working for establishment of Hindu Society has demanded of the Indian government to stop the planned event.