by Zulfiqar Ali Khan
HUNZA, August 15: The Chief Secretary of Northern Areas, Babar Yaqub has inaugurated the Silk Route Festival 2008 in Gulmit, Hunza. The festival has been organised by Northern Areas Tourism Department in order to boost tourism in the region, which is in worst condition after 9/11 incidence. The closing ceremony of the festival will be held on August 28, 2008.
The local artists have presented very impressive and colorful cultural items including the traditional sword dance and Central Asian welcome song locally known as “Sho Muborakbod”. Hundreds of men, women and children participated in the event frm all over Gojal valley.
Chief Secretary also opened a peace walk to be carried out by local Scouts along the old silk route from Gulmit to Gilgit. The secretary in his speech assured to allocate fund for the renovation and preservation of Ondra fort and formation of local polo team.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Naib Khan; Secretary Tourism, Mehboob Ali Khan; Secretary Education, Commander Northern Scouts, AIG, DIG, other senior officials and political representatives.
Later on, a delegation of notables from Gojal has held a meeting with the Chief Secretary. The delegation has demanded for an additional seat in Northern Areas Legislative Assembly and approval of PC-4 of Gulmit Hospital and Higher Secondary School. The delegation stressed the need to construct hydro-power station to meet the electricity need of the area.