Panaji: Pakistan and China do not feature in the list of 117 countries invited to participate in the Defence Expo which would be held in Goa in March, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.
“We have not invited Pakistan and China to exhibit their technology at the event. The delegation from China would be arriving, but they cannot be called participants of the Defence Expo,” Mr Parrikar said speaking to reporters here. “Pakistan is neither participating nor is their delegation allowed. Even if they intend to come and witness the expo, that too is not permitted,” he added.
Of the 117 countries invited to exhibit their wares at the exhibition, 44 had confirmed the presence, he said. As many as 881 companies had confirmed their participation, Mr Parrikar said. The event is slated to take place at Betul in south Goa from March 28 to 31. Goa is hosting the Defence Expo for the first time. Of the 117 countries invited to exhibit their wares at the exhibition, 44 had confirmed the presence, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Saturday.
Aero Show, to take place in 2017, would be held at Yelahanka near Bangalore, he said, ruling out Goa as a venue. “To host the Aero Show you need an airport and Goa does not have that facility. We can’t have it till the new airport is in place,” said the former Goa chief minister.
The Defence Expo is facing opposition from a section of locals and some politicians who allege that land would be acquired permanently on the pretext of Expo. But the state government has said that structures put up for the exhibition would be temporary.