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    Nangarhar craftsmen weave country's largest carpet

    JALALABAD (PAN): A group of skilled carpet weavers produced Afghanistan's largest rug in eastern Nangarhar province, a representative of the craftsmen said on Thursday.

    Measuring 100 square metres, 33 square metres lengthy and 7.5 square metres wide, the rug took nine months to finish, said head of the 12-member weaver group, Qari Ziaul Rahman Zia.

    He told a press conference in Jalalabad that the carpet had been woven with 600 kilograms of wool at a cost of 3,000 US dollars. Afghan craftsmen had showcased their products at an exhibition in the US, where 80,000 people visited the show, he said.

    Zia said due to lack of support from the government, the industry was facing a lot of challenges. President Hamid Karzai had allotted 1,000 acres of land for an industrial park in Jalalabad in 2007, but the park was yet to be established, he deplored.

    Currently, a 3,000 square metres carpet was woven in a month in eastern Afghanistan, against 500 square metres five years ago.

    Zia said Iran last year made a carpet measuring 160 square metres. The Iranian industry has full government support. In 2007, Iran made the world's largest carpet measuring 6,000 square meters.

    Women carper weavers' representative, Sharifa Ahmadzai, said there were 1,500 females involved in the business in eastern provinces. She also complained the women had no government support.