Sino-Pak Cultural Contact
While the Sino-Pak governments have developed an all-weather friendship, the same cannot be said for the citizens of the two countries. With the recent introduction of CPEC and the controversies surrounding it, it has become clear that the two countries will not be able to move forward until transparency and intensified cultural contact is achieved. It is for this very reason that the governments have now begun to work in earnest to bring together the people of the two nations.
It is important to note the talks held between Chinese Culture Minister Luo Shugang, and the Pakistani Ambassador to China, Masood Khalid. The highlights of the discussions were the recent establishment of a Chinese Cultural Center in Islamabad as well as an overview of the people to people contact.
The ambassador was of the view that cultural contact had taken a turn for the best, increasing in recent years with an exchange of cultural troupes, development authorities, youth deputations and interaction between intellectuals.
He also added that approximately 18000 Pakistani students are enrolled in a multitude of disciplines at Chinese Universities. This fulfills an important cultural milestone as well as provides support for the two governments and their prospects.
The talks have been followed by the recent decision of having a group of 16 Chinese and Pakistani outstanding artists traveling in a Cultural Caravan spanned across three segments of the CPEC. Each of the segments is set to a maximum of ten days duration. These artists will consist of painters, photographers, filmmakers, and musicians.
The first segment is to start with the Western Passage, which covers the route from Peshawar to Gawadar. Following this, the second segment will undertake the Eastern Passage from Karachi to Islamabad while also swinging between the Eastern, Western and Central passages. The third will cover the Northern passage commencing from Kashgar and concluding at Islamabad.
The artists will be encouraged to engage with local talents, learning from them and helping them learn in the process as well.