Wearing deserted look is a common cliché often uttered to describe the emptiness of the once-crowded places. But this cliché seems the most appropriate expression to portray the true picture of the Karkhano markets in the city.
The 9/11 incident and subsequent war on terror have changed many things in the world and Karkhano markets of the smuggled and imported goods is no exception.
During a visit to the shopping plazas from Sitara Market, the first market at the entrance to the Khyber tribal agency, to the carpet market, the last shopping plaza of the Karkhano market, it was the unanimous view of the traders that their business activities had dropped by 50 percent during the last 10 years. Certain recent incidents have brought down business activities in about one dozen markets by 80 percent.
The traders said during the Afghan war and till early 90s the market used to be crowded with the festive, household and even window shoppers and every day around 20,000 to 50,000 people from all over the country used to visit there.
The Karkhano markets, the nomenclature derived from the adjoining Hayatabad Industrial Estate, was founded in early 70s and soon became the hub for foreign goods and continued to be one of the busiest markets in the country where shoppers could shop foreign-made stuff from a needle to the state-of-the-art night vision devices (NVDs) of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and US armies.
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