KARACHI: People who did not find time to visit the four-day Iran’s solo trade exhibition, which began at the Expo Centre here on Friday, rushed to the venue on Sunday.
In fact, they were so keen to visit the place that they had begun trickling into the centre even before the organisers had opened the gate for the public.
There were better security arrangements there than what were seen on the opening day when there was just one police van in the parking lot and there was nobody at all at the walkthrough gate.
On Sunday, a police van was parked close to the Hall 6 gate, two others were in the parking area, and a police armoured personnel carrier was perched on a freshly formed mound and the walkthrough gate was manned by a pair of men accompanied by at least one woman. They discreetly frisked men going inside, leaving relatively older people untouched.
When inside, most of the visitors would have been disappointed as they could not get what they planned to buy.
“Please leave that blanket alone. It is not for sale, it is just for numaish,” said Mahmood, a representative of the Lilian company selling blankets. “No, madam, all double-bed blankets have sold out,” he turned his attention to a woman customer.
Zainabakh, a young woman at the rug selling stall, is also busy handling customers. “These are the rugs you booked yesterday,” she hands over a plastic bag to a middle-aged man. “No, no, I didn’t book them. You have mistaken me for some other person,” said the man, adding: “But I’m interested in this rug. How much is it for?” he pointed to one of the rugs on display. “Ok, you can have it for Rs4,000,” she said. When the man haggled over the price, she smilingly said: “Ok, for you, it’s Rs3,500.”
Jamal from Yazd at the carpet stall spoke fluent Urdu. He had hard time convincing visitors that the carpets that hung there had already been sold and their delivery would be made on Monday, the last day of the exhibition. “But you can order the same quality material in larger sizes,” he told every potential customer. “These centrepieces are for Rs11,000 each,” he told a visitor. “The largest size is available here for Rs47,000, but you can’t buy it for less than Rs63,000 apiece in your local market.”
Those stalls which did not sell their products said they had also got a very good response from people who booked their orders and left the formalities to be completed later.
In cases where the Iranian firms already had agencies or dealers in Pakistan, the customers were directed to contact them, mainly in Quetta and Karachi.
— Wasim Akhtar (@wasimakhtar1955) February 24, 2017