BEIJING, FEB 1 (APP): Pakistan is always impressed by China’s encouragement to neighbouring countries for strong support to interact with ethnic minorities, said Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Masood Khan. “The Xinjiang autonomous region, for instance, has eight countries as its neighbours, as Pakistan is one of them, therefore naturally we take interest in this region and its rich ethnic composition”, said Khan in an interview appeared in ‘China Ethnic’ magazine. He said that Xinjiang and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have signed a pact in 2009 in Urumqi to promote economic, commercial, scientific and technological and cultural relations.
“We have also tried to foster closer ties between Xinjiang and its contiguous Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.”
“In the past two years, I have traveled to or through Xinjiang many times. On these trips, I have visited Urumqi and Kashghar. They are fast becoming new hubs of economic activity in the west of China”, said Ambassador Masood Khan.
He said that hundreds of Pakistani businessmen attend trade fairs in Kashghar and Urumqi every year.
Years ago, Pakistan’s envoy said, he visited Ningxia Hu Autonomous region and Gansu and found that Chinese ethnic minorities are rich in food, culture, arts, attire, history and region.
Khan explained that it was difficult for him to select features of just one ethnic minority. He however said that what strikes him is that the characteristics of the minority people are distinctive yet similar; similar to China’s national culture and civilization.
“So what I see is unity in diversity” Khan remarked.
Regarding role of Xinjiang towards transportation of flood assistance to Pakistani people, he said that he would like to specially mention the humanitarian consignments sent by China to Upper Gilgit-Baltistan. In the Upper Attabad Hunza Region some 25,000 residents were stranded. A humanitarian convoy of 101 trucks went from Kashghar to Sust carrying diesel and food items such as wheat flour, tea, sugar, salt and lentils.
“This gesture also strengthened solidarity between Xinjiang and Gilgit-Baltistan”, he noted.