PM directs CDA to provide outlet for AHAN at Saidpur village

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on  Tuesday directed the Capital Development Authority to urgently provide an outlet to ‘Aik Huner Aik Nagar’ (AHAN), at the Saidpur village here. The Prime Minister stated this while presiding over a meeting of AHAN  held at the PM House, which was attended by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

who is also chairperson of AHAN, Minister for Productions, Anwar Ali Cheema, former secretary Shahab Khawaja and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Productions and AHAN.The AHAN is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Production at Saidpur  village, situated in the proximity of the capital city, to exclusively market the products of AHAN under their brand as a part of poverty alleviation initiative for the rural artisans.

The Prime Minister also directed the Board of Directors of the AHAN should be constituted at the earliest and the selection of the members must justify their expertise in the fields of history of artifacts, knowledge of entrepreneurship and the marketing.The Prime Minister also directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to  arrange exhibitions of the products of AHAN during the President’s and Prime Minister’s visits to foreign countries. He said Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Commercial Attaches and the Pakistan Missions should also play an effective role in making such events worthwhile for the people of the host countries.Gilani said foreign missions and commercial attaches should use their contacts and good offices to market the products of AHAN in their areas of accreditation on durable basis.

He expressed satisfaction that  major fashion houses and fabric designers are their customers and capturing the local market with style.He directed the Ministry of Productions and the Ministry of Finance to help the organization harness its full potential to benefit the poor artisans of rural areas.Its success would generate a lot of job opportunities for the rural population at their door-steps, that will in turn discourage their migration to the urban centers already under a lot of stress and strains causing social problems, said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the products of AHAN and especially the  embroidery work, hand knitted carpets and pottery from different parts of the country. He recalled that he as a Speaker of the National Assembly presented an embroidery work of art to the then woman Speaker of the House of Commons depicting beauty of Swat Valley for which she thanked Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto for such an ethereal beauty during her visit to the United Kingdom.

Foreign Minister Khar called upon the AHAN to ensure quality and competitiveness in their products, so as to ensure sustainability and also generate goodwill for the country. She observed that quality products in the international market optimize the cultural diplomacy, which is the finest form diplomacy. The AHAN officials said at present 33,000 artisans across Pakistan had been targeted and engaged by AHAN through 79 projects covering 55 districts. AHAN is currently implementing 26 projects to tap more artisans and in this regard 89 organizations have been associated.AHAN is going to open a new outlet at Lahore very soon, an official of AHAN said. – APP