ISLAMABAD: Even though the Peshawari Chappal – a sandal styled footwear originating in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region – has been around for aeons, it got a new lease of life after it was popularised as the footwear of choice for Prime Minister Imran Khan. Now, the premier may be about to get his hands on an exclusive and exotic pair of the sandals which are being specially prepared by a Peshawar native.
Baba Nooruddin, who use to make the traditional sandals in the Namak Mandi area of Peshawar for a host of clients — including Imran, has been given a display centre at the National Heritage Museum - Lok Virsa.
Nooruddin and his son Islam Khan, who make the chappal’s at the display centre explained that Imran was their leader and that they were honoured to make footwear for him.
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They added that the footwear — a staple for many — had piqued the interest of many after it became popular as the sandal chosen by Imran and even gained the moniker ‘Kaptaan Chappal’ (Captain’s sandal) – in an ode to Imran’s time as the captain of the national cricket team which won the 1992 cricket world cup and sealed his name as a national legend.
Since then, a number of versions of the famous sandal have emerged. These chappals have gained a huge following particularly amongst Imran’s supporters and members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are frequently seen wearing them especially when they attend party meetings.
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Nooruddin and Islam disclosed that they were currently working on special pair for the prime minister where they had imported the skin of a snake to make the sandals.
Islam said that the skin itself had cost them around Rs40,000 to procure from Africa while they will now toil over it for the next 10 days to create the special sandal.
“We will gift it to him in the Prime Minister’s House,” Islam beamed.
Ali Nawaz Aawan, the special advisor to the Prime Minister on the affairs of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), said that the Kaptaan chappal has turned into a brand around the world.
He said that apart from locals, it was well liked by foreigners as well and that the display centre at Lok Virsa will allow residents of Islamabad to easily purchase them.