There should be no barriers to bilateral trade, say Pak women entrepreneurs


GS Paul

Amritsar, December 8

There should be no barriers to bilateral trade, which is the backbone of economy of a nation. This sentiment is shared by three women entrepreneurs from Pakistan — Sapna Oberoi, Sayyida Dhanjai and Nafisa Aslam — who used SAARC visas to break free from cross-border restraints and take part in the Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX) at Amritsar.

Keep political differences aside

Keeping aside political differences, bilateral trade between India and Pakistan should be allowed. It would be a win-win situation for both countries. Sayyida, Entrepreneur

Since 2017, no Pakistani trader has participated in the trade expo due to the non-issuance of visas. Because of the friction between the two neighbouring nations, the Ministry of External Affairs and Pakistani authorities were reluctant to grant any visa directly.

This time, however, the women entrepreneurs made sure that the best of Pakistani clothing and other articles would not be missing from the event.

Sayyida has brought readymade ladies’ suits, sarees and cloth like chiffon and pure silk to the expo.

“Keeping aside the political differences, bilateral trade among the two countries should be allowed. Attari-Wagah is the best and most convenient passage for import and export of products. It would be a win-win situation for both India and Pakistan if trade is revived,” she said.

Endorsing the views, Sapna said she wished that with the liberalised visa norms, soon there would be frequent exhibitions and programmes in both countries.

She has brought rocksalt lamps and material for clothes to the event. “The rocksalt lamps are not only beautiful to look at, but have medicinal properties too. They help in curbing the viral infections and asthma,” she said.

Nafisa’s is a bit different from Sayyida and Sapna. Born and brought up in Mumbai, she got married to a Pakistan-based person and moved to Karachi after marriage. “Though, I come to Mumbai frequently on a SAARC visa for domestic and business purposes, I am looking forward to the time when there would be no restrictions on any Pakistani trader for coming here and vice versa,” she said.

RS Sachdeva, Chairperson, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, said a letter had been written to the Chambers of Commerce of Pakistan today asking them to initiate steps to revive the bilateral trade and exhibition programmes, as they were organised in the past.