Silk Route Festival 2013 concluded today in village Gulmit of the strategically located Gojal Valley, in a colorful, mega event attended by a large crowd, including local people, foreign tourists and delegates, officials of the GB and federal government, diplomats and politicians from GB and Islamabad.
Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Chaudhry Barjees Tahir was chief guest of the session. He was accompanied to the festival in Gulmit by Secretary KA and GB Shahid Ullah Baig and Joint Secretary Saif Ullah Chata.
Diplomats of foreign countries in Pakistan who attended the closing ceremony of the Silk Route Festival included Ambassador of Kazakhistan Bakhtbek Bayer, Ukranian Ambassador Volodymyr Lakmove, Ambassador of South Korea Dr. Song Jong Hwan, Ambassador of Azerbaijian Dashgin Shikrov and Ambassador of North Korea Ro Kyong.
Speaker Gilgit Baltistan Lesgislative Assembly (GBLA) Wazir Baig, Advisor to the GB Chief Minister on Toursim, Culture and Youth Affairs Sadia Danish, Deputy Speaker GBLA Jamil Ahmed and Chief Secretary GB Yunus Dhaga accompanied the diplomats and federal government officials to the festival.
The guests were welcomed at the boat basin in Gulmit by the Hunza-Nagar district administration officials and boy scouts. Little children in traditional attire welcomed the guests with flowers when they arrived in the Gulmit Polo Ground. Local elders formally welcomed the guests with a traditional welcome song in Wakhi languages called Sho Muborakbod.
President Ismaili Regional Council for Hunza Mr. Sharif Khan delivered a welcome speech, which was followed by a parade by the students of Al Amyn Model School, FG Boys High School Gulmit, FG Girls High School Gulmit, members of the search and rescue team of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance and Boy Scouts. The march past was facilitated by pipe bands of the region, including the Aga Khan Silver Jubilee Band Gulmit, Chipurson Band and Nasir Khusraw Band, who later performed in front of the guests.
A number of traditional and colorful items were held under the festival in Gulmit, including sword dance, folk music, traditional dance, folk songs and Silk Route Caravan. Traditional games were also played during the event, including tug of war.
The guests were amused by traditional and folk songs and music like Sinisai presented by women of the area. The magnificence of the dances was lifted by the colorful, traditional costumes. Little boys from Kamaris kept the guests amused by presenting dance on a Persian song. Local women had set up stalls, where they displayed and sold locally produced products, including handicrafts, foods and fruits.
“My government’s plan of Kashgar-Gawadar corridor is revolutionary,” said Chaudhry Barjees Tahir in a press conference held at a hotel at the end of the festival. “The project would transform the Attabad Landslide Lake into a huge tourist spot.” The minister for KA & GB also said the Silk Route Festival would play a greater role in promoting tourism in the region.
The 3-day-long Silk Route Festival opened Sunday at the Karakoram International University, Gilgit. Colorful events under the festival were held in Hunza and Nagar on Monday. The festival was aimed to promote tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The festival was organized by the Gilgit Baltistan Tourism Department in collaboration with a number of organizations, including the Karakoram International University (KIU), AKRSP, Serena Hotel, WWF, KADO, AKCSP among others. The GB Tourism Department organized the closing ceremony of the festival in Gulmit through the Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association (WTCA).