PESHAWAR  -  The lack of facilitation by the government and deteriorating law and order situation in the province is forcing the artisans of the carpet industry to shift to other parts of the country, particularly Punjab.More than 10,000 people are directly or indirectly attached with the carpet industry only in Peshawar. About 50 per cent export quality carpet is manufactured in Peshawar while the remaining is imported from Afghanistan.Talking to this scribe, Mazhar-ul-Haq, a former chairman of All Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association (APCEA) and leading carpet exporter, said that even carpet manufactured in Afghan capital Kabul is also brought to Peshawar for cutting, washing, colouring and finishing. He, however, said that the standard of washing is better in Lahore.He said that 50 per cent of weavers had already repatriated to Afghanistan while 30 per cent had shifted to Lahore, where exporters had established several carpet manufacturing units. This situation had resulted in 70 per cent decline in the export of carpet from the province. He attributed the mass migration of the weavers to their harassment at the hands of police, lack of facilitation by the government and poor law and order situation in the province.He said that carpet weaving is a specific artistic work and has a special language known as ‘Talim’ and could be earned in childhood. The special art is utilised in the carpet manufacturing in Turkmenistan, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.The best qualification of a girl for wedding in Turkmenistan is weaving. Weaving, he said, has become domestic work and even breast feeding mums can weave at the time of feeding her baby.He said that the project of the establishment of Carpet Nagar was aimed at shifting of the art of weaving to Pakistanis, as presently 70 per cent artisans are Afghans while the remaining 30 per cent are local. The establishment of such facility would have to provide one-window operation, where washing and colouring will be carried out outside the city and will also enable buyers to come and purchase the product.Haq was of the opinion that the establishment of the project Carpet Nagar would have stopped the shifting of the artisans and exporters would also have promoted.He said that carpet worth Rs 500 million has been exported annually to Germany, South Africa, United States and Japan. He said that especially ‘Chobi’ vegetable dye has big demand in the world market. However, he said, such achievements are linked with improvement in law and order and establishment of Carpet Nagar.He said that a site was already identified near Nisata Motorway Interchange at Charsadda, but the project was dropped and now a new place has been selected near Khazana Sugar Mills on Charsadda Road while a fund of Rs 50 million was also allocated, but due to the lack of interest it could not be materialised.The incident of 9/11, he said, was another setback for the sector and since then buyers have been feeling hesitance in coming to the province. He said that as compared to Pakistan, India has extended more facilities to carpet industry. The cluster of the industry in Peshawar is situated in Afghan Colony, Faqirabad, Ring Road, Nishat Mills and Chowk Sue karno.The Carpet Nagar was a good project for collecting the scattered carpet cluster at one place. However, he said former chief secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ghulam Dastagir Akhtar was least interested in the scheme and was lacking time for holding meeting with the stakeholders of the sector. He said Small Industries Development Board (SIDB) is still serious in the implementation of the project.Several donors including Netherlands and USAID, he said, were ready for provision of assistance in the implementation of the project. For example, Netherlands have committed the provision of free water treatment plant while European Union was agreed on extending an assistance of US$810 million. Similarly, USAID was interested in the construction of residential colony for the artisans, he added.