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In the past few months, we have been hearing a lot about CPEC and everyone knows about it especially in Pakistan but the real question is what is the real benefits of CPEC? Are we overestimating the benefits of it? Or are we ignoring the real benefit that it gives us? I thought a lot about it and came to a conclusion that the most benefit that we would get our of CPEC is to promote our culture and our heritage.
Pakistan is endowed with a rich culture and a large number of ancient sites and historic structures. These historic assets are our link with our past and, as the custodians, it is incumbent upon all Pakistanis to stabilize and conserve them so that they could survive for many centuries more. The culture is the life line of Pakistan and our identity we cannot let go of it if we want to succeed in this world or create a name for us.
In an age when globalization is all pervasive, it is Pakistan’s culture and ancient lineage provides us with a distinct identity. Lest we forget —since this seems to be our best-kept secret from the outside world — Pakistan is a treasure-house of ancient heritage, spanning over scores of centuries.
Pakistan is home to Punjabis, Pathans, Sindhis, Balochis, Gilgitis, Kashmiris and many others. Each of them has their own languages and cultures that are unique and beautiful in their own ways. Pakistan also has Mehargarh, Moenjodaro, and Harappa —it is the land that beckoned Alexander to sail down river Jhelum with purple flags fluttering; the spectacular Gandharan civilization as the seat of Buddhism; the devotional carvings of the Hindu Shahi temples of the Salt Range and Tharparkar; the stately funerary clusters of Makli, Multan and Uch Sharif, a fusion of local trabeated and imported arcuate, representing successive Sultanate dynasties; the heart-expanding Chahar-Baghs and jewel-like edifices of the greatest kingdom in the world, established by the young ruler of Farghana; the Sikhs emulating the Great Mughals, and the shared legacy of eclectic architecture with its European overtones, a bequest of the British who colonized this land.
It is not only the ancient sites and historic monuments, but equally the historic urban cores, stretched from the peaks of the Khyber in the farthest north to the southern-most edge of the mighty river Indus — Peshawar, Multan, Thatta and Karachi, and scores of other living cities with their historic environments, all valuable in our search for, and understanding of our cultural diversity. There are the Walled Cities, a depository of irreplaceable architectural heritage, with their organic morphology and the meandering streetscapes, which need to be saved from destruction, and revitalized to continue to endow our fast-growing urban centers with distinction, and historical flair.
These footsteps of history are a reflection of a traditional value system, tempered over centuries, but needing support to meet the demands of contemporary life without losing their inherent radiance — the traditional lifestyles determined by, and themselves determining the historic environments. There were numerous things I could write about Pakistan’s culture and heritage but due to limited space, I couldn’t, so please do visit my blog for further updates.
The real challenge is to promote this culture and heritage and I think CPEC is the best way to do it. We have been hearing for a few years about benefits of CPEC and that many countries are interesting in investing in it. These country nationals are the ones that we need to target to promote our culture and heritage. Other countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and India are doing their best to promote their countries and Pakistan needs to do the same but we have an advantage that is called CPEC.
CPEC is an infrastructure and connection of roads to all of Pakistan with the other countries and we can market our products like shawls, carpets, handicrafts, food etc. by making hotels and shops on the routes like other countries do and the government needs to encourage the local entrepreneurs to make this possible as this will create many jobs and small businesses, which will benefit the poor community of Pakistan. We the educated skilled youth can also create social media pages, write a blog and create a mobile application for foreign visitors in different languages so that it because easy for them to enjoy our culture and heritage.
Let’s unite and help each other in achieving this goal and promote the culture and heritage of our beloved Pakistan through CPEC.