Pakistani traders gush about business trip to Chandigarh

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CHANDIGARH - Happy with the warm hospitality, Pakistani traders who came to this union territory to participate in Chandigarh Fair-2010, are taking the business trip as an opportunity to develop local contacts and explore new places here.

“Besides a business trip, this is an opportunity to discover our roots in Punjab and meet our relatives in India. India is like second home to us. I cannot explain in words my happiness at coming here,” Sohail Khan, a resident of Lahore, who deals in leather goods, told IANS.

“I have come here with my son Mustafa Khan. We have many relatives in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. We have planned to travel in various cities of Punjab, including the Sikh holy city Amritsar, before returning to Pakistan,” he added.

Over 85 companies from the neighbouring country came for Chandigarh Fair-2010 Oct 29-Nov 1 which was held at Parade Ground here.

“Chandigarh is famous for its modern markets and tourist destinations. We did not get a chance to go round the city because we remained very busy in the fair,” said Inzamam Younis, who has come to India for the first time.

“But now we would visit the Panjab University, Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden and do shopping from Sector 17 (commercial hub of Chandigarh),” he added.

“I have made many new friends in Chandigarh. I would certainly come here again with my family on a holiday trip,” Younis said.

Mohammad Alam, who displayed women’s textiles at the fair, said: “This was my fourth business trip to Chandigarh. Each time I got a whopping response from the people here. Punjabi women are very fond of our clothes and fabrics.”

Pakistani traders had brought to the fair a wide range of products, including those made of marble, onyx, crockery, leather, embroidered and other textiles, Multani-embroidered fabrics, shawls and handicrafts.

“I have organised fairs in many countries but we are always very comfortable in India. It is the sweet language that joins the people of India and Pakistan,” said Kausar Barlas, a representative of Pakistan World Trade and Expo Centre.

“People of both the countries follow similar trends, cuisines, lifestyle and culture. We want more such events so that the people can come closer to each other,” Barlas said.

Tanvir Akhtar, who displayed sports goods, including bats, said: “We had a very good experience in Chandigarh. People here are very warm. We are very happy with their hospitality. We did not face any difficulty and would like to come here again.”

“I am a hard-core fan of Sachin Tendulkar. I have also met him many times and gifted him my bats,” said Akhtar, who had placed in his stall his posters with the master blaster.

Filed under: Economy

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