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12 Oct 2015 | News

Highland festival brings Pakistan and China region together

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Along the border of China and Pakistan, some fifteen thousand feet above sea level at Khunjerab pass, more than 5,000 locals, officials and tourists came together 26 – 27 August for the Khunjerab Pamir Cultural Festival. The colourful festival brought various communities from across China’s Xinjiang province and Pakistan’s Hunza district together through traditional dance, food, arts, crafts and song. The people of the region share historical cultural and economic ties, dating back to the time of the ancient Silk Route.

Artists from across Gilgit Baltistan and China’s Xinjiang and a thirty-member delegation from the Chinese state attended the two-day event which caught the attention of many leading TV channels and newspapers.

The festival was organised by Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Forest Wildlife & Environment Department with support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) and Khunjerab Villager Organization (KVO), a local non-governmental agency (NGO) working for conservation of wildlife, natural recourses and community development.

A testament to the festival’s success, the Gilgit-Baltistan government announced its intention to make the festival an annual event, and to further cross-border cooperation with regard to tourism, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan and Kashgar government of Xinjiang province, China.

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