The four-day Indo Pak Trade Expo (IPTE) concluded here on Monday evening but several participants who came from various cities of Pakistan failed to taste a satisfied experience as expected by them.
Apart from poor publicity by the organisers, the participants have many concerns which they feel must be addressed seriously.
Khaleel Ahmed, a representative who brought many participants at the exhibition, said several members did not get visa on time.
"Every year, we request the organisers to ensure that all participants get visa on time but most of the participants get their visa just a day prior of the exhibition and sometimes even when exhibition has entered day two or three. It puts us in hassle and leaves us bemused," revealed Ahmed
Samina Waqar along with her group underlined that the organisers make no efforts to help the participants in organising food, accommodation and transportation arrangements.
"How about if Punjab Tourism Board also joins the organisers to help us in this regard," she questions.
Ziad Hamid added, "On all four days, we have been discussing on low footfall and we never got the right clients. Most of them were window shoppers. Many of us feel that organisers should hire marketing professionals to handle such events. For each stall, Pakistani participants pay three times more than the Indian counterparts. This should never be ignored."
For customs and immigration at Wagha-Attari border, Shaista Kausar said, "Every time, the border is crossed, we are hassled as officials take lot of time."
Two other participants, on the basis on anonymity, said some officials also take bribe for faster clearance.
Raqif Lakhani said, "If no constructive changes are seen in coming fairs, the participants will start losing interest and with passage of time their number will also decline."
"Despite paying hefty amounts to the organisers on time, they seem to have lackadaisical approach to manage the fair and its participants efficiently. They did not even advertise this fair," said all the participants.
Officials from the organising committee of PHD Chambers Of Commerce and Industry could not be contacted despite several attempts. Even the representatives at the fair refused to comment or accept any suggestions. firstname.lastname@example.org