The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has invited 39 countries to participate in the Silk Route Festival starting in September in the region.
The concept of the Silk Route Festival was conceived by former chief secretary Younus Dagha in 2013 when terrorists attacked and killed 10 foreign tourists at the foot of Nanga Parbat in 2013. At least 16 countries took part in the activities.
“This will be a mega event; we have sent invitations to 39 countries,” Secretary Tourism Akhtar Rizvi informed participants of a meeting chaired by G-B Chief Secretary Sikandar Sultan Raja. The meeting which was attended by department heads and other relevant officials reviewed measures needed to make the event a success.
Raja urged law enforcement agencies to ensure foolproof security for the festival which will culminate on September 15.
So far 16 countries have confirmed their participation. The five-day event will start from September 10—an inaugural ceremony has been scheduled for Islamabad where foreign dignitaries will be briefed.
On the second day, programmes will be organised in Skardu to highlight local art, culture and heritage. Foreign dignitaries will be hosted in Shigar Fort, which has won several awards after it was renovated by the Aga Khan Cultural Support Programme.
Activities on day three will take place in Gilgit while the fourth and fifth days’ events will take place in Hunza and Nagar valleys respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2014.