Monday, May 23, 2016

People-to-people contact to transform CPEC into economic venture: Pervaiz

Pakistan Observer

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Today is special day for Pakistan and China: Sun Weidong

Islamabad—Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid Sunday said further strengthening the people-to-people contacts between Pakistan and China would transform the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from a governmental project to an economic venture.

“Pakistan and China have much common in culture, arts and crafts to further deepen the relations at the societal level,” he said. The minister was addressing the participants of a cultural show organized by the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) in connection with the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.

He said Pakistan was geographically located at the crossroads of culture and historical civilizations, some of which had turned into mighty nation states such as China.

“‘Seek knowledge even through it be in China’ is the popular saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), read as a reflection of eminence of Chinese civilization. This can still serve as a guiding light for the Pakistani knowledge bearers to learn from Chinese culture,” he added. He said Pakistan was inheritor of a great civilization. Its culture was anchored in the message of peace, love, unity, tolerance and brotherhood “championed by our Sufis and Saints who chose poetry, music and dance as a medium of expression.”

Pervaiz Rashid said at a time when Pakistan was entering into major economic relations with China, it was imperative to pay attention to the cultural dimensions by extending the scope of public diplomacy. “The social and cultural consequences of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor in 3,000 kilometers long strategic One-belt One-road initiative of the Chinese government that will connect Pakistan’s Arabian Sea port of Gwadar to China’s Xinjiang province have not been fully anticipated,” he said.

He said it was imperative that both the countries explored the avenues for renewed inter-cultural dialogue and reviving that multi-level links in shared cultural histories and regional biographies.

“I appreciate the joint effort of Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and the PNCA for holding cultural events at regular intervals,” he said. The minister said the value systems of Chinese and Pakistani society resonated with similar ideals and concerns, such as respect for tradition, family honour, deference for women and elderly.

Pervaiz Rashid said,”Sustained relations between Pakistan and China require a mutual understanding of cultures, traditions and language, which can take place only through a robust people-to-people contact. This helps in laying a sound foundation as it helps in an understanding of their sensitivities.”

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong said,”Today is special day for Pakistan and China as in May, 1951 both the countries have started diplomatic relations.”

He said China-Pakistan relations were unique as both the countries stood with each-other in difficult times.

The envoy recalled the historical visit of the Chinese President to Pakistan, which he said, had further improved the relations between the two countries. He said work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was in full swing.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid thanked Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong for his cooperation in organizing the show and arranging a special Chinese cultural troupe to add colour to the celebrations of the anniversary.—APP

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