Chairman Businessmen Group (BMG) and Former President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Siraj Kassam Teli has announced that preparations were in full swing for staging 14th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony Exhibition 2016 in a vivid and lively manner, which will start on 7th April 2017 and will conclude on 9th April 2017 at Karachi Expo Center. Addressing a press conference at KCCI Auditorium on Wednesday, BMG Chairman appreciated the overwhelming support by the media to My Karachi Exhibition since its inception in 2004 which has resulted in making this mega event an icon for not just Karachi Chamber and the Businessmen Group but also for all the Karachiites.”The success of My Karachi exhibition can mainly be attributed to thenon-stop support by the media since 2004 which helped a lot in effectively promoting this event”, he added.Vice Chairman BMG Haroon Farooki, President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Senior Vice President KCCI Asif Nisar, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Younus Soomro, Chairman of Special Committee for My Karachi Muhammad Idrees, Former Presidents KCCI AQ Khalil, Mian Abrar Ahmed, Haroon Agar, Abdullah Zaki, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra and Younus Muhammad Bashir, Chairman of Special Committee for Small Traders Majeed Memon and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion.
Chairman BMG further said, “My Karachi title was particularly chosen for this exhibition as we, the business and industrial community, strongly felt that we have to own this city.” The success of My Karachi title can be gauged from the fact that many people have also started numerous events with a similar title of My Karachi which was initially introduced by Karachi Chamber in 2004. “We are not opposing them for imitating our title but we warmly welcome all such events as well because all these events are being held to promote the soft and positive image of Karachi”, he added.
Explaining the reasons behind choosing the theme ‘Oasis of Harmony’ for My Karachi Exhibition, Siraj Teli stated that this theme depicts the diverse, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic population who speak different languages but live in complete harmony across Karachi. The theme also represents the entire business and industrial community of Karachi, starting from a small shopkeeper to leading industrialists, he added.
Siraj Kassam Teli pointed out that Karachi Chamber has been constantly staging My Karachi Exhibition since 2004 when Karachi city was suffering badly due to terrorists’ activities and the law and order situation of Karachi was not so good. Moreover, the foreign media was wrongly portraying any law and order incident occurring in any particular area in such a manner that it gave a negative impression about the entire city. “To rectify this serious issue, we decided to initiate My Karachi Exhibition and ensured that the business and industrial community, all diplomats, foreign companies and the Karachiites densely participate in this event. With the passage of time, this exhibition has succeeded in gaining nationwide and international recognition as many countries around the world have also been regularly participating in this event.”
“Despite law and order disruptions on many occasions from time to time, we remained kept organizing My Karachi Exhibition at any cost which has expanded from just three halls in 2004 to all six halls of the Expo Center where more than one million people visit during all three days of the exhibition. Every year, My Karachi keeps growing and improving thanks to the untiring efforts being made by Office Bearers from time to time who try their best to perform better as compared to previous office bearers”, he added.
He informed that this year’s My Karachi Exhibition will have 280 stalls in which foreign delegates from 10 to 15 countries are expected to participate. “It has become a self-sustainable exhibition and has never been a burden on KCCI. In fact, this exhibition has generated revenue which is directly submitted to chamber’s kitty”, BMG Chairman said, adding that 14th My Karachi exhibition will also be featuring a dedicated flower show, kids play area, birds & pet show and other recreational facilities whereas the outer area of the Expo center will be designed in a unique manner for the entertainment of visitors.
He appreciated the efforts being made by Chairman Special Committee for My Karachi Muhammad Idrees who has been taking new initiatives every year to make this exhibition more attractive for the visiting families. “We ensure equivalent trade and recreational facilities at My Karachi Exhibition where products are offered to the visitors at factory rates”, he added.
He said, “Thanks to BMG’s transparent policies, the Karachi Chamber, which was facing severe financial crisis in 1998, has succeeded in purchasing a huge plot in Clifton for setting up KCCI’s building by spending a sum of Rs440 million from its own financial resources and the construction work will begin soon in the next two to three months. BMG, after taking control of KCCI affairs, devised a strict strategy to ensure that public money is not being wasted or misused at any cost.” Appreciating the overwhelming support extended by Sindh government, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Law Enforcing Agencies particularly Pakistan Rangers Sindh and Sindh Police, Siraj Teli hoped that the newly appointed Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair and Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah will also extended full support to My Karachi Exhibition.
He further commented that Karachi was spread on a massive land of 3,700 square kilometers and holds a population of more than 22.25 million so in such a situation, if anything pertaining to law and order goes wrong in any part of city, people in other parts are usually unaware of such an incident. Hence it was highly unfair to portray the entire city unsafe in such a situation.
“No matter if any one accepts or not, I always say that Karachi is Pakistan which contributes more than 60 percent revenue to the national exchequer and we run the entire country yet this city continues to suffer injustices from the politicians, Siraj Teli said, Taking advantage of strong media presence at KCCI, Siraj Teli drew the attention towards delays in census which must be conducted immediately as it was really essential not only for Karachi but also for the rest of the country.
He appealed Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and all other relevant ministers to hold fair and transparent census under Pakistan Army’s supervision. “It has been 18 years since last census was conducted which has resulted in creating a disastrous situation for Karachi and deprived this city from its rights”, he opined, adding that census must be followed by rectification of demarcation process under Army’s supervision whereas the next election should also take place electronically under army’s supervision which will surely result in the election of right representatives.
On the occasion, Special prayers were offered for the martyrs of Lahore incident and also for a technician of Samaa TV Channel who was killed while discharging his duties in Karachi by some unidentified culprits.