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Over 70 % of Afghan carpets are smuggled to Pakistan: Afghan Carpet Association

Thu Mar 01, 10:41 am

Most carpets woven in Afghanistan are illegally shipped to Pakistan, according to the Afghan Carpet Association.  “The carpets that are woven in Afghanistan have a special place in the global marketplace as Afghan carpets won the first position among 80 competing countries in a recent exhibition of handicrafts held in Dubai”, a Carpet Association official said.

The Afghan Carpet Production Association in Northern Afghanistan cited evidence showing that more than 70% of the Afghan carpets are being transferred illegally to Pakistan.  From there, the carpets are marked with Pakistan labels and shipped to international markets.  The Afghan carpet-makers only see a small percentage of the carpets’ true value since profits from sales made by the Pakistani carpet wholesalers to the world markets are not shared with the carpet manufacturers in Afghanistan.

“The carpet industry could be one of the most lucrative industries in Afghanistan, but if the government does not prevent carpet smuggling, the Afghan carpet industry will lose its identity in the global market,” said Abdul Satar Baik-Zada, the Afghan Carpet Association head.

Thousands of people in the Northern provinces are now busy weaving the carpets which provide the livelihoods of these families.

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