Report by Qasim Ali
Photos: Tanveer Ahmed
The Silk Route Festival 2013 was opened today at the Karakoram International University, Gilgit, by Governor Gilgit Baltistan, Pir Karam Ali Shah, our correspondent said.
The three day long festival’s opening ceremony was attended by diplomats of several countries in Pakistan, including Ukraine, Egypt, China, Italy, Japan, Indonesia, Syria, North Korea, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.
A large number of government officials, politicians and ministers from the Gilgit-Baltistan government also attended the opening of Silk Route Festival 2013.
All seven districts of GB were represented during the event through dedicated stalls, where some people from the particular districts, dressed in their traditional attire, represented culture of their respective districts. Handicrafts, antiques and other culturally rich items were set on display in the stalls.
A documentary about the Silk Route was screened at the university’s Musharraf Hall by the GB Toursim Department, which was followed by brief speeches by Pir Karam Ali Shah and Advisor for Tourism, Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs to the Chief Minister GB Sadia Danish.
The guests reportedly went on to visit the stalls, where representatives of each district briefed them about their culture. They also explained the cultural importance of items put on display at the stalls.
Chief Secretary of GB Yunus Dhaga and Speaker Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly Wazir Baig also attended the festival’s opening ceremony and accompanied the diplomats to the stalls.
The festival is being organized by the GB Tourism Department in collaboration with a number of organizations, including the Karakoram International University (KIU), AKRSP, Serena Hotel, WWF, KADO, AKCSP and others.
Events under the festival will be held in Ghulmet (Nagar) and Altit (Hunza). The festival will be concluded in a large event in Gulmit, Gojal, where preparations for the event have been finalized. According to the organizers, a large variety of cultural items will be presented during the festival in Gulmit, including folk songs, traditional music and dance, sword dance, Silk Route Caravan and traditional games, such as tug of war. In Gulmit, the GB Tourism Department will be organizing the closing ceremony in collaboration with the Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association (WTCA).