Pakistan independence celebrations cause surge in economic activity

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Merchandise displayed at a local market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buying merchandise at a local market in Karachi as part of independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buying merchandise at a local market in Karachi as part of independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Products displayed at a local shop for independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buying merchandise at a local market in Karachi as part of independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buying merchandise at a local market in Karachi as part of independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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A vendor selling national flags at a local market ahead of independence day. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buying merchandise at a local market in Karachi as part of independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Ladies’ garments in Pakistan’s national colors, green and white, displayed at a local market in Karachi ahead of independence day. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Customers buying T-shirts ahead of independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Specially designed caps sold at a local market for independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Bands, badges and bracelets displayed at a local market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Bands, badges, bunting and bracelets displayed at a local market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Kids’ wear for independence day celebrations displayed at a local market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Kids’ wear displayed at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Green frocks with a crescent displayed at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Ladies’ wear for independence day celebrations displayed at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Bands, badges and bracelets displayed at a local market in Karachi.
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Pakistan’s national flag and badges displayed at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Green and white frocks, representing the national colors, displayed at a local market ahead of independence day. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Hairbands displayed at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Garments for women and children for independence day displayed at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Bands displayed at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Caps sold at a roadside stall ahead of independence day. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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A young boy sells national flags and bunting at a roadside stall. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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A brother and sister selling flags and bunting at a roadside stall. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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A young girl selling flags and badges. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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A brother and sister selling flags and bunting at a roadside stall. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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An old lady selling flags, badges and bunting at a roadside stall. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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The historic Karachi Press Club building illuminated as part of independence day celebrations. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Photos of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan and former army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif sold at a local market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buying merchandise at a local market in Karachi as part of independence day celebrations.
Updated 12 August 2018

Pakistan independence celebrations cause surge in economic activity

  • Pakistan meets 75-80 percent of demand for celebratory merchandise — such as flags, badges, bunting and hats — by importing them from neighboring China
  • Online shopping websites are also offering incentive packages and special ‘freedom discounts’ to internet users

KARACHI: As Pakistan gears up to celebrate its independence day on Aug. 14, national festivities have generated economic activity worth billions of rupees.
But according to importers and dealers, the country meets 75-80 percent of demand for celebratory merchandise — such as flags, badges, bunting and hats — by importing them from neighboring China.
“Although there’s no official data available, we estimate economic activities spurred by independence day festivities at between 10 billion ($81 million) and 20 billion rupees,” Atiq Mir, chairman of All Karachi Tajir Ittehad — an umbrella organization of nearly 100 market associations in the port city of Karachi — told Arab News on Sunday.
Importer Abdullah Abdul Habib told Arab News: “This year, demand for stuff required for independence day celebrations has increased by 30-40 percent.”
He said: “The growing demand has been met by importing the required products from China since the local industry is unable to meet such high demand.”
He added: “The variety of products and the ability to supply them are among the main reasons why Chinese goods are in such great demand.”
He said: “The number of importers has increased, not only in Karachi but also in Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar.”
As independence day approaches, the number of temporary vending stalls has increased. “I run a paper business nearby, but due to the high profit margin I’ve set up this stall at the main market,” said Sarfraz, a vendor at the famous Pakistan Chowk.
Purchases of clothes in green and white, Pakistan’s national colors, are surging, and websites are offering “freedom discounts.”
Pakistan came into existence on Aug. 14, 1947, with the partition of the Indian subcontinent, which had been a British colony since 1849.

FASTFACTS

Pakistan came into existence on Aug. 14, 1947, with the partition of the Indian subcontinent, which had been a British colony since 1849.


Pakistan ‘wants to play its role’ for peace in Middle East – FO

Updated 12 January 2020

Pakistan ‘wants to play its role’ for peace in Middle East – FO

  • Work on foreign minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United States being done
  • Pakistan’s strong relations with regional countries has made it an important player

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated on Thursday that the country was going to play its role in restoring peace in the Middle East by working with other international stakeholders in the region.

“Pakistan welcomes de-escalation and wants to play its role in ensuring peace and stability in the region. We have seen that indication in United States President [Donald] Trump’s speech and are evaluating its contours,” the country’s foreign office spokesperson, Aisha Farooqui, said in her weekly media briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

She said that Pakistan’s geographical position, along with its strong relations with regional countries and the United States, had made it a significant player in the Middle East.

“Pakistan has maintained that war is not the solution to any issue and made it clear that it will not become part of any regional conflict,” she said.

The spokesperson noted that Islamabad had enhanced its efforts to defuse tensions in the region and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had contacted his counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and many other important states in this connection.

“All the international players, including Saudi Arabia, have said that the region cannot afford another war and asked for restraint from both parties [the US and Iran]. It’s a collective objective of all countries to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East,” she said.

Commenting on the foreign minister’s upcoming visit to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the US, she said that “work on these tours has already started and they will take place as soon as dates are finalized with the respective countries.”

“We are very mindful for our brotherly and friendly relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other regional countries. Pakistan and the US also enjoy longstanding relations and have contacts with each other through multiple forums including political and military leadership,” Farooqui said, adding that the foreign office had established a task force to continuously monitor the situation in the Middle East and inform the government about it along with its suggestions on a daily basis.

The spokesperson expressed hope that recent developments in the Middle East would not affect the ongoing Afghan peace process.

“Pakistan hopes that progress made on Afghan peace process will not come to a halt and the world community will not lose its focus as a result of the ongoing tensions in the Middle East,” she said.

Asked about the safety of Pakistani nationals in Iraq, she said the country’s embassy in Baghdad was on the alert to deal with any emergency situation.

“We are concerned about the safety of Pakistani citizens in Iraq and have issued an advisory in this regard. We have also instructed our mission in Baghdad to remain vigilant to deal with any emergency,” Farooqui said.