Terror Threat Derails FICCI Trade Meet In Pakistan

21/02/2016 12:47 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Marketa Jirouskova via Getty Images
Wagah, border-closing ceremony at Pakistan-India border near Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

NEW DELHI -- An India trade exhibition scheduled to be held from February 26-28 in Pakistan has been cancelled following threat of terrorists attack.

The meet, which was to be held in Lahore, has been cancelled after the Indian High Commission in Islamabad warned of ‘High security threat perceptions’.

Around 100 Indian companies had signed up for the event, titled ‘India Exhibition’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) that was supposed to be held at the Lahore Expo Centre. After the conclusion of the meet, dignitaries from India were also supposed to talk to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over a call on 27th February.

“The Indian High Commission in Pakistan warned us of ‘serious security concerns’ due to which the meet had to be cancelled. A lot of money has gone down the drain,” top sources in the know told HuffPost India.

Companies from various sectors had signed up to participate in the event. The gem and jewellery sector probably had the maximum representation with booking for at least 50 stalls at the venue.

While an e-mail sent to FICCI seeking comments did not elicit any response, a senior FICCI official who wished not to be named confirmed that the event has been cancelled.

"We were keen to go ahead with the event. But because of prevailing security threat perception, FICCI felt it appropriate at the moment to ‘postpone' it" the official said. No fresh date has been decided yet.

As per the schedule, the delegation from India was supposed to reach Amritsar on 24 February and walk across the Wagah border the next day to enter Pakistan and register at the Pakistan Rangers Post before proceeding to the Pakistan Immigration and Customs office.

They were supposed to reach Lahore on February 25 afternoon and check into Hotel Pearl Continental. This was to be followed by a seminar on India-Pakistan Economic Relations by the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC).

India-Pakistan ties have been volatile and terror continues to strain trade relations. On Friday, Pakistani authorities lodged an FIR into the 2 January Pathankot attack in which suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists attacked an Indian Air Force Station, killing seven security men and injuring 20 others.

All six terrorists were killed as Indian forces retaliated. The attack derailed a scheduled meeting between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India in January in Islamabad.

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