| Nabeel Ahmed arranges items at his stall in Maniram Dewan Trade Centre on Monday. Picture by UB Photos |
Feb. 4: Trade, like music and sport, can unite countries, feels Nabeel Ahmed, the lone Pakistani face at the 20th International Guwahati Trade Fair.
“Line of Control mein kya ho raha hain, mujhe usse koin matlab nahin. Main yahan business ke liye aya hoon, aur main samajhta hoon ki trade dono mulkon ke beech mein tension kam karenge, jaise ki music aur sport karte hain. (I’m not concerned about what is happening at the Line of Control. I have come here for business, and I believe that trade, like music and sport, too can reduce tension between the two countries),” Ahmed, the co-proprietor of Nadeem Enterprises, a Karachi-based marble and onyx handicraft firm, told The Telegraph.
The 29-year-old, who arrived on his maiden visit to the city just a couple of days back, made his point when asked about the recent flare-up along the border over ceasefire violations.
Pakistan is officially participating in the fair for the first time since it was last held at Judges Field in 2004.
Organised by Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam in association with National Small Industries Corporation, the 20th edition of the fair began at the Maniram Dewan Trade Centre on January 30. The exposition ends on February 12.
Attributing his late arrival to the delay in getting visa, Nabeel said: “I could join the fair yesterday only because my visa was not cleared. Two more companies from Pakistan will be joining shortly.”
The trader is exhibiting an array of eye-catching onyx pieces. Among the decorative treasures are pedestals, fruit trays, watches, vases, eggs, birds and animals. The price starts from a pocket-friendly Rs 100 to a whopping Rs 5 lakh.
Onyx is one of the more popular precious gemstones found in countries like Pakistan and Mexico. It is a type of quartz that comes in a variety of colours. It usually comes in black or black with white bands.
Asked how he feels about Guwahati, Ahmed said: “I have been to other places in India and have taken part in trade fairs in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Surajkund. But this is my first visit to Guwahati and I like this place. I hope to come here again.”
A Pakistani food corner, Karachi Darbar, is wooing foodies to the mouth-watering chicken biryani, chicken karahi, chicken changezi and mutton korma.
Like Pakistan, gems and jewellery companies from Myanmar, too, are participating after a number of years.
“This is my first visit to Guwahati and I have in display stones such as rubies, sapphires and jade which are popular in Myanmar. I also have pearls and wall pictures made of gems. Besides, jewellery having a combination of these stones, diamond and gold, too are being exhibited,” Win Myint, a gems and jewellery trader from Yangon, said.