Heightened tensions with Pakistan has cast a shadow over the second edition of 'Made in Pakistan Expo Mumbai' which was scheduled to start here tomorrow, with the organisers indefinitely postponing the event at the last minute.
"We would like to inform you that due to the ongoing tense situation at the Line of Control (LOC) and on the advice from our partners 'World Trade Centre', we have postponed the second edition of MIPEM 2014," the organisers said in a brief statement today.
General Secretary of Pakistan-India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy Jatin Desai said the Pakistani businessmen scheduled to attend the event decided against the visit.
"From the time India announced the cancellation of Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan, there has been a tense environment on both sides and Pakistani traders feared threat to their lives if they came to India. So fear and precaution made them take this step," Desai told PTI.
"We had received overwhelming response to the first edition of the expo that we held in April this year despite the event not being publicised much. We were expecting to do much more business this time. We believe that bilateral trade needs to be uninterrupted and uninterruptible," Desai added.
Around 300 Pakistani businessmen, mostly from the garment industry, were expected to take part in the second edition of the expo themed "Festival of Friendship". Starting tomorrow, the event was scheduled to conclude on September 5.
The highlights of the event had included a Pakistani food festival, a fashion show and an art exhibition.
Despite calling off the Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan, India had earlier this week cleared visas for businessmen to attend the expo, which was to move over to Delhi on September 10.