Karzai inaugurates 'Festival of Afghanistan'
New Delhi, Apr 11: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai today inaugurated the first ever "Festival of Afghanistan" in India, showcasing the rich cultural and culinary tradition of the war-torn country.
Amid tight security, Mr Karzai cut the ribbon marking the beginning of the six-day-long festival at the Hotel Ashok.
The Afghan President went round the stalls exhibiting precious jewellery, gems, carpets, clothing, the Chapans (Afghan jacket) and paintings at the lounge of the hotel.
Accompanied by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) President Karan Singh, Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) Chairman Parvez Dewan and Afghanistan Charge D' Affairs Abdul Hai Khurasani, President Karzai had the taste of his country's dishes at the food counter set up at the hotel's "Frontier" restaurant.
The festival is organised jointly by the ITDC and the Afghanistan government.
During the six days, artistes from Afghanistan will present cultural programmes in the evening.
"We are trying to make it an annual feature," a top ITDC official said.