GILGIT (Dawn): The Gilgit-Baltistan administration has decided to organise the Silk Route International Festival in the capital city of the region during the last week of next month in the hope that the event will pull in both local and foreign tourists and traders in large numbers.
The decision was made during a recent meeting chaired by Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Secretary Yonus Dhagga, according to the officials in the know.
They told Dawn that the participants agreed that there was a need for organising the festival to revive local tourism and trade, and raise the soft image of the terrorist-hit region.
The officials said the tentative schedule of the event had been conveyed to all stakeholders for necessary preparations, while the exact date of the opening would be announced shortly.
“The tentative dates of the festival’s start and conclusion are Oct 25 and Oct 27 respectively,” an official said.
The official said the chief secretary had formed many committees to make preparations for the big event and raise funds for the event.
He said the administration and the relevant government departments were making every effort to ensure the festival’s success.
The official said the administration was hopeful that the festival would help revive tourism industry in Gilgit-Baltistan, which had been badly shaken up by a series of terrorist activities.
Meanwhile, officials said Karakoram International University has been tasked with managing the festival.
They said the vice chancellor of the university would head the committee looking after the overall affairs of the event.
The officials said cultural shows and exhibitions would be held along Karakoram Highway.
Until the early years of the Musharraf regime, the festival was organised on a regular basis.
However, it couldn’t take place afterwards due to the lack of the interest of the relevant quarters.
An official said the festival was being revived with an aim to promote tourism and trade, raise the soft image of the region and provide the local people with better employment opportunities.