ISLAMABAD (ET): The three-day Silk Route Festival (SRF) 2013 has provided the locals of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) with an opportunity to attract foreign and national tourists to experience their unique culture and landscape. The occasion gave the locals a chance to exhibit their art, culture and traditional heritage to the delegates of the Silk Route member states which include several countries such as China, Egypt, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Indonesia after almost 13 years.
The event was aimed at reviving tourism and trade in the region as the Silk Route was the first bridge formed to connect the East and West. G-B governor Pir Karam Ali Shah, who inaugurated the event at the Karakoram International University (KIU) said “G-B has much to offer to the rest of the world and its potential can be utilized by making investments in the region”.
Ukraine ambassador Volodymyr Lakomov became the first official from his country to visit Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), after five of his Ukrainian compatriots were murdered alongside five other trekkers at Nanga Parbat in June this year. This incident was a serious setback to the region’s tourism industry. Chief Secretary Youns Dhaga in his speech said, “the objective of the event was to explore future collaboration between the Silk Route Countries, we are overwhelmed by the response of foreign delegates”. The event was not only focused on the tourism industry but it also involved the interaction of foreign delegates with the local communities. Through which the foreign delegates were exposed to the rich cultural legacies of this area.