Gilgit - Baltistan

Hunza will be “Gateway for mega development projects”, says Chinese ambassador

China's ambassador addressing a gathering in Hunza Valley
China’s ambassador addressing a gathering in Hunza Valley

Karim Baig  

Hunza: China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong, today visited the Hunza Valley and addressed a public gathering held in his honor at Karimabad, attended by local notables, youth and students. The ambassador said that the development of the Xinjiang autonomous region will have positive impact on the socio-economic uplift of the Hunza Valley in particular and Gilgit-Baltsitan, in general.

He further said that Hunza Valley is going to be the Gateway for all mega projects in the region and its role as a bridge between Pakistan and China is highly important.

The ambassador added that the Chinese government will invest in electricity, health and education sectors in Gilgit-Baltistan, to contribute towards the region’s development.

Ambassador Sun Weidong was presented with historical documents and ornaments related to the exchanges routinely taking place between the state of China and Hunza in the past, before the creation of Pakistan. The Chinese ambassador gifted laptops to various schools and local institutions and paid some cash money for supporting deserving students.

Speaking at the occasion Brigadier (r) Hissamullah Baig thanked the ambassador for coming to Hunza along with the guests and appreciated the role of China during the hours of need.

Hunza is strategically located as the valley that connects Pakistan with China through the Karakuram Highway. Future energy and transport focused projects will be passing through the Hunza Valley, before entering Nagar Valley and then moving on to Gilgit and Diamer districts.

Many people have raised questions about the environmental and cultural impact of the mega projects on the lives of minority ethnic and linguistic groups based in the Hunza Valley and other areas of Gilgit-Baltistan. It is being said that Chinese companies generally do not carry out effective and comprehensive environmental assessment of projects, which leads to deterioration in ecological balance.

The local people have urged the Chinese companies to ensure the sanctity of local traditions and values while developing mega projects, besides carrying out environmental impact assessment, as required under the law of Pakistan.

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