Craftsmen from Afghanistan showcased their handicraft products in New Delhi, at an exhibition of the diverse craft traditions of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
After playing host to the 14th summit of the SAARC earlier this year, India has organised this exhibition here.
The impressive exposition of Afghan artifacts, textiles and craftwork, a rare occasion for the war-torn nation to bring out the nuggets of its colourful ethnic craft and fabric, is to enhance trade and cement people to people ties with other member nations.
Faced with two decades of turbulence in their country, Afghan craftsmen are keen to find markets for their products.
"Afghanistan is emerging from an era of turbulence and now a system of governance is crystallizing there. We have provided them stalls at the exposition. There is a market for these products in India, and in the countries trading with Afghanistan," said S K Babbar, an organiser.
"This type of exchange and trade exposition will help rebuild ties between the two countries. We have seen for the last two or three days is that the demand for the Afghan goods has been increased and people are appreciating the merchandise immensely," added Babbar.
Kabul-based craftsmen Hamidullah Herati is looking for a stable market for his produce in South Asia.
Specializing in handcrafted decorated glass lamps, Herati wants his products to have a direct export link with SAARC member countries.
The exhibition will run for almost next three months as a prologue to the establishment of the SAARC museum of textiles and handicrafts in India aimed at preserving the rich legacy of each member country.
The show focused on the textile heritage of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan.
SAARC provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding. It aims to accelerate the process of economic and social development in member states.