LAHORE - An exhibition of duty-free Indian gold and jewellery, going to be held tomorrow at Lahore Expo Centre with the collaboration of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industries, has been challenged in the Lahore High Court.

Jawad Anwar, a lawyer-petitioner, filed a petition on Wednesday, pointing out that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) allowed Indian jewellers to exhibit their products in Lahore. He says the exhibition would cause a great financial loss to national exchequer and economy, being duty-free.

He alleges that the government is organising the show only to please Indian traders whereas Pakistani businessmen were not allowed to visit the neighbouring country. “The impugned act of the government is against the nationalism,” Mr Anwar argues.

The petitioner has requested the court to set aside the tax rebate given to Indian traders for being an ‘anti-Pakistan act’.

On the other hand, the body of Pakistani businessmen have shown their support to the exhibition.

Muhammad Ahmad, vice chairman of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries’ Standing Committee on Gems & Jewellery, manufacturers, producers and exporters, said people of all SAARC member countries will take part in the exhibition. “It is not of Indians only.

“The exhibition is especially being held for women entrepreneurs which will provide them good opportunity to learn that how to start their own business.”

He said that there would be bad impact about Pakistan in the SAARC member countries if any hurdle is created in the way of exhibition of gold and jewellery. “It will boost up business in the region,” Mr Ahmad added.