BEIJING, Aug 10 (APP): An international symposium and a photo exhibition on the research of Swat Valley and Uddiyana was held at Tsinghua University here on Thursday.
Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque, Director General, Department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Liu Jingsong, Vice President of Tsinghua University, Peng Gang, senior officials from the Pakistan Embassy and Tsinghua University and students attended the event.
The event was organized by the Center for Pakistan Culture and Communication Studies at Tsinghua University.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Vice President of Tsinghua University, Peng Gang said that understanding the historical and cultural background of the greater Gandhara region will help to deepen the cultural, religious, trade and diplomatic links between China and Pakistan as well as increase international awareness and support for the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
It will also revive the historical economic and cultural corridor across the Himalayas, Karakoram, and the Hind Kush, he added.
He said that Uddiyana and Gandhara civilization left indelible footprints in the realm of arts, architecture, culture and spirituality and the most enduring feature is manifested in the art which mesmerized the world with its artistic brilliance, innovation and intense devotion.
Peng Gang expressed his satisfaction with the role of the Pakistan Study Center at Tsinghua University in promoting an understanding of Pakistan and China civilizations and their linkages.
The Pakistan Study Center holds an annual symposium on cultural exchanges between China and Pakistan, inviting top scholars from both countries to engage in cross-civilization and cross-cultural dialogue.
This dialogue not only promotes exchanges between the two countries people but also contributes to the pursuit of a community with a shared future for mankind and the realization of the great unity of the people of the world, he added.
He commended the dedication of the research team of the study centre in preserving, analyzing and disseminating knowledge about the glorious period of Uddiyana and Gandhara history.
The vice president hoped that with continued efforts we can unravel the mysteries of our past and pave the way for a more enlightened future.
In his remarks, Ambassador Haque said that Pakistan and China enjoy unique and special relations based on strong political support and practical cooperation.
Pakistan, he said, considers China as a best friend and the relations with China forms the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy and enjoy support across all political spectrum.
He said the friendship between the two countries is a heart-to-heart relationship between two people, which has been nurtured over the years by successive generations of people.
Ambassador Haque appreciated Tsinghua University’s commitment to making rigorous research, scholarly exploration and dissemination of knowledge that truly is successful in unearthing the treasures of history and heritage.
He said that Pakistan is the seat of Gandhara and its rich archaeological sites and artefacts serve as a window into the past.
The Gandhara civilization can also be credited with the establishment of early linkages between our two great countries as many Chinese monks like Fa Xian and Xuan Zasng travelled Silk Road.
He underscored the importance of cooperation in promoting understanding of the shared Gandhara Heritage that has taken centre stage in the public diplomacy initiatives of our respective countries.
Ambassador Haque emphasized the success of the grand Gandhara Art Exhibition at the prestigious Palace Museum for which more than 170 artefacts were transported from seven different museums of Pakistan and also the Gandhara Symposium held in Pakistan with participation from several countries with Buddhist heritage.
He said that the year 2023 is being celebrated as the Year of China-Pakistan Tourism Exchanges and invited Chinese friends to visit Pakistan and see and explore Gandhara heritage, some of which are also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In his speech, the Director General of, the Asian Department, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liu Jingsong said that the people of China and Pakistan have a long history of deep-rooted relationship and friendship. The friendship between the two people is not new rather it is centuries old.
He expressed the need to further strengthen the friendship between the two countries and called for taking practical steps to pass on this heritage to the next generations.
Liu Jingsong remarked that several international students at Tsinghua University are a bridge for the friendship and people-to-people diplomacy of China.
He appreciated Dr Luca M. Oliveiri and Prof Li Xiguang who along with their research team reached out to one of the most difficult areas and made in-depth investigations in Swat Valley, through the Khyber Pass and along the Upper Indus River.
He said that these kinds of events are very useful and provide an opportunity for cross-region and cross-culture exchanges as well as generate new ideas.
Earlier, Prof Li Xiguang welcomed the distinguished guest and briefed them about salient features of the symposium and the photo exhibition.
Prof. Dr Badshah Sardar, Dr Abdul Samad, Director of the KP Archaeology and Museums and Dr Ghani-ur-Rehman, Director of the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations, Quaid-i-Azam were also present.