PESHAWAR – Archaeological experts and researchers at an international conference said that the Silk Route was instrumental for boosting up trade and cultural ties and promotion of archeological tourism with China and the rest of the world.

They called for integrated approaches for the preservation and conservation of the rich cultural and archeological heritage around the Silk Route, which are of much historical significance and a source of linking between the East and West. The three-day long international conference titled “Rediscovering The Silk Route” organised by Department of Archaeology Hazara University, Manshera in collaboration with Higher Education Commission, Islamabad here in the main campus of the university.

Chairperson, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s Standing Committee on Culture, Archaeology and Tourism, Shagufta Malik was the chief guest at the inaugural session. Other keynote speakers at opening session included Vice Chancellor, Hazara University Manshera, Dr Syed Sakhawat Shah, Head of Archalogy Department, and Chief Organiser of the conference, Dr Abdul Samad, Prof Dr Rafique Mughal from Bostan University, USA, and renowned archeologists and searchers.   

More than 60 foreign and local delegates, mostly archaeological researchers and experts who had done their research work on the Silk Route.

About 35 research papers prepared by both national and International research scholars were presented during three-day of the conference. In the international moot, the researchers from United Kingdom, USA, Germany, France and Japan are participating. 

The participants said the route is not a mere path, but it has high historic worth for exploration rich legacy of medieval period, as route was used by the invaders, raiders, explorers, hunters, missionaries and philosophers, saying that the of Bhuddism, Islam and Christians came to this region via the Silk route. The great Silk Route oases of Uzbekistan are more accessible than ever and a journey in this region is not mere a travel, but in fact, exploration, the experts said.

They added the legendary place, Kashgar, one may select his route either to China or to Central Asian States. The route has a great worth of exploring culture, art and rich legacy of the past and taking economic benefits via China to central Asian states and rest of the world, they maintained.

Dr Abdul Samad, the conference chief organiser and Head Department of Archaeology, in his welcome address explained the aim and objective of the international conference. He said the route is safest path for linking with China and rest of Central Asian states, and has much strategic and historic importance.

Shagufta Malik, while speaking as chief guest at opening session, said that the Silk Route had broadened scope for enhancing culture, economic and trade linkages with friendly state China and expanding the relationship to other regional states via this path. She maintained the route is being a great historic importance and wide scope to explore of rich legacy of the medieval period.

It’s a symbol of friendship between Pakistan and China, leading role in boosting up trade, economic and culture ties between two friendly states, she remarked.

She informed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had taken measures for preservation and conservation of rich archaeological heritage while keeping in view their historic importance and background.   

The University, Vice Chancellor, Dr Sakhawat Shah in his address highlighted the importance of the Silk Route. He assured that local and foreign delegates for extending every possible facilities during the participation in the conference.