New Delhi: ‘Aalishan Pakistan’, a lifestyle exposition, was inaugurated here Thursday despite protest by a group of men outside the venue. The delegation from the neighbouring nation is upbeat and says that protest doesn’t “affect” them.
Rabiya Javeri Agha, secretary, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDPA), said they are unperturbed by the protest.
“We have been warmly welcomed here. Just a few men going against the event doesn’t affect us. In fact, we would love to take the exhibition to other cities like Mumbai and Amritsar. There are about 400 participants this time and it’s just getting bigger and better,” Agha said.
The four-day lifestyle exposition is being held at Pragati Maidan and before the inauguration, a group of unidentified men staged protest at the venue. But soon, security officials controlled the situation.
Jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and TDPA, ‘Aalishan Pakistan’ aims to build on the efforts of the governments of Pakistan and India to normalise trade relations between the two countries.
As many as 300 exhibitors from the neighbouring country are showcasing fashion and lifestyle products at the event.
TDAP chief executive S.M. Muneer said the event will help people living below poverty line in both the nations.
“To support them, we have to increase our turnover. When the business of both the countries will increase, then the poor people will be benefited too,” he said.
Sidharth Birla, president of FICCI, started off his speech by praying for the victims in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking about ‘Aalishan Pakistan’, he said the exposition is to develop business and strengthen strong cultural bonds between the two countries.
“This edition is designed as a blend of culture and economics. Bilateral trade has registered growth of nine percent annually in the last five years. Trade has enormous potential in bringing the two nations closer,” he said.
Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit said, “Our countries have many facets.”
“The facet of economic relations constitutes an important aspect of our relations because such activities not only create win-win situation but also bring our people together.”
“India is important neighbour. Time has come we walk past the narratives of past and make a new beginning, and I am sure this event will show us the path towards creating opportunities for our countries and finding new avenues. I am sure this will have far reaching positive effects on our countries,” he added.