Call to restore past glory of Silk Route

MANSEHRA, Sept 5: Speakers at a conference here on Wednesday stressed the need for restoring the past glory of Silk Route to bring educational revolution in the country.

There were about 1,700 universities between Taxila and northern region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on that route in the ancient times, they said. The three-day international conference titled Rediscovering Silk Route was opened at Hazara University with the financial assistance of Higher Education Commission.

“The history of Silk Route goes thousands of years back. The development of China is linked to it as economy, culture and arts of western countries were introduced in China through this historic route,” MPA Shagufta Malik told the inaugural session of the conference.

The conference will be also addressed by archeologists and delegates from the USA, UK, Portugal, France, Japan and Thailand. “This road once played a great role in promoting friendly relations among China and European, Asian and African countries. Now history is being repeated in the shape of Pak-China relations,” said Ms Malik.

She said that following passage of 18th Amendment by the parliament, the federal archaeology department was devolved to the provinces. “Living nations protect and preserve their heritage and we will do the same to bring back our past glory,” the MPA said. She said that provincial archaeology department was working on a number of projects to protect and preserve historical sites and monuments.

Besides Ms Malik, who is also chairperson of the standing committee of provincial assembly on tourism, culture and archaeology, the inaugural session was addressed by Hazara University Vice-chancellor Dr Syed Sakhawat Shah. “The people of silk country manufacture dazzlingly exquisite silks fine as gossamer with floral patterns in a riot of colours,” Mr Shah quoted a Roman author to highlight the importance of the route. He said that Silk Route was a phenomenal discovery from the debris of history.

Mr Shah said that Silk Route remained a mean of transmitting knowledge, goods, religions, ideologies and cultural and environmental values for thousands of years. He said that Hazara University was located on that ancient Silk Route that was part of an intricate web of routes connecting South Asia with China, Central Asia, Africa and Europe in the past.

The route was presently playing a vital role in promotion of trade between Pakistan and China, Mr Shah added. 

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