Pak, Afghan stalls a hit among visitors

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    Feb 16, 2009
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    Pak, Afghan stalls a hit among visitors - Hindustan Times

    The stalls of neighbouring countries — Afghanistan and Pakistan — in hall no 18 and 6, respectively, are a huge hit with Indian shoppers visiting the India International Trade Fair (IITF).

    Dry fruits from Afghanistan and textiles and spices from Pakistan stalls are reaping bumper business
    at the fair.

    “I have come here especially to buy Afghani dry fruits as we rarely get them in Delhi. I am piling-up the stock for the entire year as these dry fruits have long shelf life,” said Kanika Gandhi, a visitor from Green Park.

    Businessmen from the terror-hit Afghanistan are seeing huge business potential in India along with brisk retailing. Many Afghan businessmen have also clinched deals with Indian companies. Around 35 businessmen from Afghanistan are participating in the 31st edition of the IITF.

    Textiles, handicrafts and cuisines have made Pakistani stalls the most sought-after. Families, who shifted across the border after the Independence, describe their visit to Pakistani stalls as a life-time experience.

    “We grew up eating Peshawari badam. It’s been 63 years that I relished them as the variety is not available in Delhi. I have come to buy spices and goods from the land where I was born,” said KL Sapra, who was born in Peshawar but shifted to India after partition.

    Around 100 Pakistani businessmen have set up their stalls, making it the largest foreign pavilion at the trade fair.

    “Pakistani businessmen bring with them truck loaded with goods. Most of them have been coming to India for more than a decade,” said a senior ITPO official.

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