Gilgit-Baltistan: Dignitaries of 15 Countries Participated in Opening Ceremony of Silk Route Festival

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GILGIT (ET): Foreign delegates from 15 countries landed in Gilgit on Sunday on the first day of Silk Route Festival.

The three-day festival is being held after 13 years in G-B, a region which recently witnessed the Nanga Parbat massacre in which 10 foreign climbers were killed.

Named after the ancient Silk Route, which formed the first bridge between the East and West and was a source of trade between the ancient empires of China, India, Persia and Rome, the event is aimed at reviving tourism in the region

Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah inaugurated the event at the Karakoram International University (KIU). Dignitaries from 15 countries, including Ukraine, Korea, and Syria, were flown in from Islamabad. They will travel to Hunza and Gojal today (Monday) to partake in the rest of the events.

“G-B has much to offer to the rest of the world and its potential can be utilised by making investments in the region,” said the governor. He also spoke of G-B’s history, calling it a melting pot of influences from Kashmir, Central Asia and China where five ethnic groups speak five different languages with 36 dialects.

The objective of the event is to explore future collaboration between the Silk Route countries, said Chief Secretary Younus Dhaga in his speech. “We are overwhelmed by the response of foreign delegates.”

According to KIU Vice Chancellor Dr Najma Najam, the idea of globalisation was actually introduced by the Silk Route. “It’s a symbol of friendship,” said Najam, “We are more similar than different.”

The guests also visited various stalls at the campus which showcased regional culture and traditions.

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