By Naveed Miraj
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is a culturally rich country and possesses a diversity of cultural goods and services that have huge potential for being harnessed for economic, social and sustainable development.
This was said by Danish Ambassador Ole Thonke during a visit to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), where he met with representatives of Hashoo Foundation (HF), a partner of the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (CKU) working to promote art and culture in Pakistan.
In a meeting with the representatives of Hunza Arts and Culture Council, Ghizer Arts and Culture Council, and local artisans, the ambassador was apprised about the deep-rooted imprints Danish-supported programmes have on the cultural canvas of the region.
HF Regional Program Manager Bulbul Jan Shams highlighted that Denmark’s support had played an important role in reviving old cultural festivals for social and sectarian harmony, which had faded away over the past decades.
Thonke appreciated the richness of the region, stating that his recent visit to the mountains of G-B and meeting local people had truly impressed him. “Local culture and traditions are an important part of any society and Denmark fully believes that art and culture are important means to bridge differences, to create tolerance, and ultimately to provide economic opportunities for communities as well as individuals,” said Thonke.
He also appreciated the local government’s efforts to facilitate cultural activities supported by the programme. “Gilgit Baltistan is indeed a jewel in the art and cultural sector of Pakistan and can become a driving force for economic empowerment benefiting local communities and Pakistan at large” the ambassador said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2016.