BEIJING: Pakistan’s acting Consul General in Chengdu Naveed Bokhari said Monday that the Pakistan-China relations stand as a perfect example for the world in terms of international cooperation, where people with different cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds have managed to establish strong brotherly ties.
He shared these views at the 6th China-South Asia Cultural Forum – China-South Asia People to People Exchange under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Chengdu, Sichuan province last week. On the occasion, Bokhari said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a flagship project under the BRI that had provided a new impetus to Islamabad-Beijing relations.
He said traditionally, cooperation between two or more countries or regions was focused on economic, commercial, financial, military and strategic factors.
On the other hand, cultural cooperation was assigned the intangible supportive role, thus providing underlying strength to ties between countries and in the process finding additional tangible forms of cooperation, he added.
Bokhari further said that the traditional definition and role of cultural cooperation was now being challenged. Creative industries, which were deeply rooted in local cultures, were emerging as important pillars of economic growth and adding a new dimension to economic cooperation between regions, he added.
He also said that this aspect added much more depth to the concept of cultural connectivity in the context of the BRI initiative, which not only focused on bringing economic prosperity for billions of people across continents but also strived to build bridges between cultures and civilisations.
He said that Pakistan and China shared a very special relationship, adding that the two countries had a very long history of contacts that dated back to many centuries of interaction through the ancient silk route.
The trade route was also a medium for exchange of ideas, thoughts and cultures, Bokhari said. Chinese monks and envoys, such as Xuan Zang and Fa Xian, frequently travelled to the area which was now modern-day Pakistan, he added. He also said that those contacts laid down a solid foundation that helped Pakistan and China to transform this harmonious friendship into an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.
He opined that all of the above was just a glimpse of what was actually happening on the ground. There was still a lot of room for further strengthening cultural and people to people contacts between Pakistan and China, especially in the context of tapping the economic potential of such exchanges, he added.