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Made in India, popular in Pakistan

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    Made in India, popular in Pakistan

    Made in India, popular in Pakistan
    LAHORE, MAY 10: Fascination for Indian goods is one reason behind the increase in smuggling of various items, mainly on the Samjhauta Express route. Cosmetics, clothes, movies, posters of film stars, paan leaves, betel nut, saunf (fennel) name it and it's there. All these items -- mostly smuggled -- find their way into Paan Gali of the famous Anarkali Bazaar, Gulberg market and Shahdman market.

    ``Most of the things are illegally sold since the shopkeepers are supposed to pay tax to the government to sell imported goods,'' says the chairman of Gulberg market, Aafiz Mohmad. But the demand for Indian goods is tremendous and trading in them is extremely profitable, he adds.

    Cosmetics are much in demand -- hair oils, fairness creams, shampoos and blackhead removal strips are the most popular. In the narrow Paan Gali -- quite similar to the by-lanes of Chandni Chowk in Delhi -- Indian cosmetics fill the shops.

    Bindis are also a rage. ``We cannot use bindis normally, but when we go for parties, bindis -- especially the silver ones -- look really cool,'' says Saima Haider, a college student at Paan Gali.

    Then there are video cassettes of the latest Hindi movies being sold on the sly. ``Usually we put a different cover on it,'' says a shopkeeper, removing the cover of a Pakistani Urdu movie to reveal Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, one of the more popular films here.

    Posters of Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai are displayed openly. ``These are the most in demand, but I have ordered posters of the new boy, Hrithik Roshan, also. Some youngsters have been asking for it,'' he says.

    Among the clothes which are extremely popular here are colourful ``bandhanis from Rajasthan, printed cotton salwar-kameez sets from Delhi, resham (silk) from Varanasi, embroidered chikan suits from Lucknow and dupattas".

    ``I love the work on Lucknavi suits and pastel colours look lovely in summers,'' says Mosooda Bano, a housewife shopping at Gulberg market. Inderpal Singh, a Sikh youth, who has a shop in Gulberg, says that his brother has a business in Karol Bagh, Delhi. ``I keep going there to get material from him.'' And how does he bring all that to Pakistan? ``On Samjhauta Express, that is the cheapest and most convenient,'' he adds.

    Arshad Khan says he is also going to India next month. ``I am going to get Kashmiri shawls. I believe Shatoosh has been banned there. They are very much in demand here, along with Pashmina shawls. I will get my stock for winter now. I'll get them at a reasonable price in this season,'' he explains.

    However, these traders and shopkeepers are facing a tough time with the government having cracked down on them. ``Either pay taxes or pack up,'' the government has ordered and negotiations are being held with the traders.

    ``The government says it is losing $ 2 billion every year on account of revenue loss due to smuggling. They have been raiding our shops. For the time being, sale of these goods has become slack,'' says a policeman posted near Shadman market

    Maruti parts smuggled into Pakistan was a very common scenario back in mid 80s. (im sure it still is). Maruti is the indian sister car of Pakistans suzuki IFX and suzuki alto. maruti parts, on account of being mostly indigenous, were always cheaper, hence in popular demand. Our local workshop even used to sell "Meri Maruti" bumper stickers. I figure if it was possible to smuggle such huge auto parts back in the days of Gen. Zia, bringing in cosmetics etc wouldnt be a big deal now.


      Interesting so Pakistanis don't hate Indian (Hindu) goods.


        Yeah...and what Indians get in return? Mujahideen'n bullets. I think they deserve it!

        Sarfraz Khan



          Too much anger destroys people and nations. On the other hand Peace and respect for others, leads to prosperty and well being. BTW, I would like to have Peshwari Jutti and hand held fans with frills (decorated pakhi) from Pakistan.

          [This message has been edited by Rani (edited May 11, 2000).]


            One question -- is the Suzuki unit in Pakistan an assembly unit or a manufacturing plant ? Also it the best selling car in Pakistan ? How about two-wheelers ?


              Bombay pretty sure Suzuki is the most popular car in Pakistan. The IFX model isnt in production anymore, but still is around on account of being much more sturdy than the current Alto. I think they have a manufacturing plant.
              About 2 wheelers, the most popular, Honda CD-70. 1 liter gets u 70 km )) Yamaha is another popular ride. Vespa scooters are more popular among older people. But Honda 70 is by far the most popular on account of being so economical.


                Just leagalize trade, put quotas if u like, at least Pak will earn revenue.


                  legalizing trade is a good idea..why did india refuse to buy paki electricity?


                    i think that is a post-kargil developement.

                    Again it is not practical to stop the trade between two neighboring countries. there are items pakistan uses and does not produce, say tea or bettle leaves. people are not going to stop using that.

                    funnily, forget buying from india, even selling to india does not go down well in pakistan. there was an 'allegation' on nawaz that he is selling sugar to india.

                    water projects on either side can be efficient only if they collaborate. my prediction is that circumstances will force them to collaborate.


                      who the hell tolfd you that there is no smuggling into India? I remember during my trip to India, someone adviced us not to wear any gold as gold in India is very very expensive and is a usual for travellers who make alot of money smuggling it. Another thing which is really common for smuglers is k-2 ciggerettes. there are several items that are smuggled and there is nothing spectacular about it. Its just routine smuggling, do you think there is no smuggling at the US canada border?


                        None is saying that there is no smuggling. In fact Hindi movies of old times were full of dialogues 'haankaangse maal aaya hai, raabart'. now that gold restrictions are gone and gold prices are going down, fewer invest in gold. bur drug and other smuggling goes on.

                        most of smugling in other countries relates to illegal goods like drugs and guns.

                        what one is talking about is volume. i believe the volume of illegal trade (of non-drug-guns) between india and pak is huge and if it is made legal, both countries can earn a good revenue. If they dont make it legal, smuggling continues anyway.


                          Political and religious differences aside, I think that there should be some kind of formal communication line or channels to regulate and promote trade between India and Pakistan.
                          Both countries are winner in this scenario..



                            Without rescheduling its interest payments, Pakistan will go bankrupt next year: Its hard cash reserves will be only $1.2 billion and it will need at least $1.3 billion to service its debt. And that, says economic adviser Hussain, would be cataclysmic, because the country could no longer import basic goods.

                            ``We are importing petroleum, wheat and edible oil seeds for cooking oil. If these three inputs were to stop, you will have food riots across the country,'' warned Akmal Hussain, an economic adviser to Musharraf's government. ``What we are talking about are food shortages.''

                            ``If the transportation breaks down and there is no food, the militant groups will go on the rampage,'' he continued. ``It will spill into India, and then the world will really have to worry.''