<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passing by the Afghanistan pavilion at the India International Trade Fair in Pragati Maidan, this writer cannot help but reminisce about a childhood that was peppered with the story of a little girl, Mini and her friendship with Kabuliwala, a dry fruit seller. Dressed in their traditional attire of Pathani suits, the tall, well-built Pathans at this pavilion seem taken straight out of the tale written by Rabindranath Tagore.Afghanistan, a long standing ally of India, has been provided a special block this year as a mark of decades of long friendship between the two nations. More than 50 different stalls have been put up in the area, bringing to the host nations all the highlights of Afghani culture. It has its most famous advertisement —dry fruits— ranging from almonds, raisins, hazelnuts, spices like saffron, handicrafts, embroidered clothes and marble figurines.Ghulam Rasool, a trader proudly claims that the taste of his country’s produce stands apart, something Rishi Khanna, a visitor at the stall validates.”The almonds I tasted here have a completely different flavour. They have a distinct sweetness, something that we do not have in our dry fruit,” he states.Haider Ali, one of the participants in IITF is elated at the huge space awarded to his country. Visibly pleased with the affection they have received since they set up shop at the exhibition, his lessons in history are also not lost.”Indians are so warm and compassionate towards us. The two nations have seen its shares of ups and downs but their friendship remained intact. The same is reflecting in the way their citizens behave,” he averred.Businessmen are also hopeful that once the Chabahar Port becomes operational, it will increase the influx of traders coming for the Trade Fair as well more diversified merchandise.
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