ISLAMABAD: Grave-keepers of the Chinese martyrs of cemetery in Gilgit were honored here on Sunday at a ceremony held at the Chinese Embassy.
The two grave-keepers, Ali Ahmad and Mansoor, have been taking care of the Martyr Cemetery in Gilgit as volunteers for decades.
In recognition of their great services, they along with the members of the Volunteer Association for Chinese Martyr Cemetery in Pakistan were invited to visit China and tell Chinese people about the moving stories of China-Pakistan friendship.
It was a launching ceremony of their China-Pakistan Friendship tour. Charge D’affaires of the Chinese embassy Zhao Lijian was present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, Zhao said that hundreds of Chinese engineers lost their lives during the construction of KKH from 1966 to 1979, and 88 of them now are buried in Pakistan.
“Their story and contribution to China-Pakistan friendship should be long remembered by both peoples,” he said adding these stories are great fortune for China-Pakistan friendship, and its spirit should be passed on from generation to generation.
Zhao also expressed thanks to the two grave-keepers and the sponsors for the tour-the Road and Bridge Company and Hua Shang, a Chinese newspaper in Pakistan.
From 1966 to 1979, China assisted Pakistan in building the only external economic lifeline in the northern region of Pakistan – the Karakorum highway.
During the 13 years` construction period, hundreds of Chinese engineers lost their lives, and 88 of them now are buried in Pakistan. The road is also known as the China-Pakistan friendship road.
The Martyr Cemetery Volunteer Association in Pakistan under the guidance and attention by the Chinese embassy of Pakistan and the Chinese Culture department, the tour was named as China-Pakistan Friendship Tour”.
In this activity, the organizer mainly invite Chinese martyrs’ cemetery caretakers named Ali Ahmed and Mansour who succeed his father work which is continue to keep the tomb as the second-generation graveyard keeper, they will be accompanied by the veterans and the martyr relatives from China during the tour in each stop, and demonstrate to the people from China and Pakistan the profound friendship and touching story.
Martyrs cemetery in Gilgit was built in 1978, the local villagers Ali Ahmed and Ali Mahmood, who applied voluntarily as Chinese martyrs cemetery grave keeper, they have been working in the graveyard still now, the Pakistani people express the most sincere feelings for People’s Republic of China by using simple and direct behavior. —INP