ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid Monday said the revival of Silk Route through China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would help strengthen historic and cultural relations between the two friendly countries.

The corridor would provide new avenues to their performing artists and artisans to help develop cultural industries. The amalgamation of Pakistan China cultural diversity would help lead to peace, harmony and tolerance in the region, he said addressing Salam Confucius Exhibition.

The minister said the year 2015 had already been declared as Pak China Year of Cultural Exchanges. Chinese cultural troupes had visited Pakistan several times and the same had been reciprocated by Pakistan.

Appreciating the Salam Confucius exhibition, he said the information corridor became a platform to promote the CPEC.

He said that Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology (Heritage Museum) had created China Cultural Link Passage within its premises while Pakistani Buddhist sites in Pakistan had also been of great interest to Chinese monks.

He said the Silk Route had experienced Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism while Islamic Caliphate brought seventh century Islamic culture along with the Silk way.

He recalled that Pak China relations began in 1950, when Pakistan, the first Muslim country, recognised China.

He said Pakistan China relations had rightly been described as higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger than steel, deeper than eyesight and sweeter than honey. "Cultural corridor emphasizes respect for family values and observance of deep rooted traditions," he added.

The minister said a Cultural Cooperation Agreement was signed between the two countries on March 25, 1965 and then bilateral cultural exchanges and cooperation had made headway ever since.

About Chinese promotion of Pak students, he said a total of 10,000 Pakistanis students were studying in China which would reinforce the cultural links and communication between the two countries and peoples. Teaching of Chinese language in Pakistan was becoming popular and Confucius institute had opened branches in different universities of Pakistan.

He said arts could reach places that traditional diplomacy cannot and help build understanding between peoples and nations.

"We reject the notion of clash civilisations. Pakistan not only desires the protection and promotion of cultural diversity but also advocates a dialogue among cultures," he added.