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Omar asks Kashmiri traders to be honest

Most Kashmiri handicraft traders are honest but a few dishonest ones are giving everyone a bad name, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Monday.

Speaking at an international buyer-seller meet here, Abdullah advised the traders to always ensure high quality so that buyers get the best of Kashmiri handicrafts.

‘We have seen days when we did not have to seek out buyers. The wealthiest visitors would come here and take suitcases full of handicrafts for their families and friends.

‘We have also seen days when traders would pack suitcases full of shawls and handicrafts, take the cheapest tickets and sell things outside the state to keep the trade alive.

‘We have also seen days when the then defence minister would encourage the army to buy our products... (They) were then our only buyers.’ Abdullah said it was heartening to see that the number of buyers coming to Kashmir was gradually increasing.

‘I hope the trend continues. Our attitude towards the buyers should be such that they keep on coming here year after year.

‘The majority of our traders are honest but a few unscrupulous ones give our handicrafts a bad name,’ he lamented. Abdullah said adulteration of silk and saffron and selling machine-made shawls after claiming them to be hand-made ones was a no-no.
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