An ‘India Show’ organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is being organised in Lahore today. Nearly 150 Indian companies will exhibit their products at the show.
As part of the ‘India Show’, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will walk in from the Wagah border on February 13, marking the first ever visit by an Indian Commerce and Industry Minister to Pakistan.
Mr Sharma will be accompanied by an 80-member business delegation that will visit Islamabad and Karachi to interact with local businessmen.
And, even as the 'India Show' kicks off in Lahore, not far in Karachi, anti-India groups have gathered to hold a massive rally under the banner of a movement called Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan).
Under the chairmanship of the ‘Father of Taliban’, Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, the Difa-e-Pakistan has members from over 50 religious groups and known India baiters.
Prominent among them is Hafeez Sayeed of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the mastermind of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks.
Posters and banners for the February 12 rally in Karachi have already come up.
A JuD press release said: “Arrangements for the Difa-e-Pakistan conference are in full swing and central leaders of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) have reached Karachi in this connection.”
The group’s 10-point agenda includes “full support to “fighting in Occupied Kashmir.”
Though Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s spokesperson has denied that he will take part in the rally, Hafeez Sayeed has been heard saying that the PTI chairman supports the Difa-e-Pakistan group.
Also part of this anti-India and anti-U.S. grouping are former officials of the Pakistan defense ministry, four star army generals and admirals.
In an earlier rally, Sami-ul-Haq had said: “We will not let this government negotiate with India and the US who are the greatest enemies of Pakistan.”
Politicians of the ruling party or the opposition in either Sindh or Punjab for fear of retribution from extremist elements, never challenge these anti-India statements.
The rallies are being held within a stone’s throw of army cantonments and offices.
It is the worst kept secret that the political establishment in Pakistan can do little to curb the activities of the Difa-e-Pakistan.
In such circumstances, the ‘India Show’ in Lahore can only hope to be a drop in the ocean, not even capable of making a ripple.