Pak­istan: A Pure and Sa­cred Land

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

The Is­lamic Repub­lic of Pak­istan is an im­por­tant coun­try along the Belt and Road. Sit­u­ated in South Asia, it is bor­dered by the Ara­bian Sea to the south, In­dia to the east, China to the north­east, Afghanistan to the north­west and Iran to the west.

For its sec­ond ap­pear­ance at the “Colour­ful World” event, Pak­istan took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to dis­play­ing its ex­hibits this year. It show­cased carved jade or­na­ments in the shapes of grapes, ap­ples and ducks, as well as tra­di­tional jade rings and bot­tles. Staff from the Pak­istan Em­bassy in China con­veyed their love of th­ese jade carv­ings by in­tro­duc­ing them to vis­i­tors in Chi­nese.

One staff mem­ber ex­plained: “Th­ese Pak­istani jade carv­ings are made of car­bon­ate, which is a kind of meta­mor­phic rock, in­stead of sil­i­cate which is tra­di­tion­ally re­garded as the com­pos­ite ele­ment of jade. How­ever, lo­cals still use car­bon­ate to make var­i­ous kinds of jade carv­ings to beau­tify their life.” Like Chi­nese jade carvers, their coun­ter­parts in Pak­istan can skil­fully turn a mi­nor de­fect into a unique mark in a jade piece. In fact, it is of­ten the un­for­tu­nate im­per­fec­tions that dis­tin­guish jade works from oth­ers.

Mak­ing jade boxes, bot­tles and con­tain­ers re­quires a lot of time and con­cen­tra­tion. Vis­i­tors to the Pak­istan booth all highly praised the daz­zling jade ex­hibits, some of which were for sale. Th­ese items had been spe­cially pre­pared by the em­bassy for those vis­i­tors who wanted to take Pak­istani jade­ware home.

Pak­istan boasts abun­dant tourist re­sources, di­verse nat­u­ral scenery and a 900-km-long coast­line. Peo­ple are fas­ci­nated by the his­tory and cul­ture of this na­tion. As the cra­dle of the In­dus Val­ley Civil­i­sa­tion— one of the old­est civil­i­sa­tions in the world— it is home to nu­mer­ous im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal sites. Of th­ese sites, the Fort and Sha­la­mar Gar­dens of La­hore are re­puted as two mas­ter­pieces from the time of the bril­liant Mughal civil­i­sa­tion, which reached its height dur­ing the reign of the Em­peror Shah Ja­han. Both sites were in­scribed on the UN­ESCO World Her­itage List in 1981. Lo­cated in the an­cient city of La­hore in the east of Pak­istan, La­hore Fort is con­structed from large red­dish-brown rocks. Var­i­ous build­ings, foun­tains, ponds and gar­dens are in­ter­spersed through­out its grounds. Con­structed in 1642, the Sha­la­mar Gar­dens boast views of nat­u­ral scener­ies along with el­e­gant build­ings. Built by the Mughal royal fam­ily pri­mar­ily as a venue for them to en­ter­tain guests, the Sha­la­mar Gar­dens are one of only a hand­ful of Is­lamic-style gar­dens any­where in the world.

Pak­istan was also the ori­gin of Is­lamic and Bud­dhist cul­tures. A branch of Bud­dhism was in­tro­duced into Main­land China through Afghanistan and Cen­tral Asia, and was later in­tro­duced into Sri Lanka and In­dia via South­east Asia. This “In­dia” refers to the an­cient In­dia which in­cluded the ter­ri­tory of present- day Pak­istan. Tax­ila (a town in eastern Pak­istan) is to Bud­dhism what the Taj Ma­hal to Is­lam.

Sev­eral small moun­tain­ous towns in Pak­istan are well known for their an­cient rock paint­ings. Start­ing from Is­lam­abad, the cap­i­tal of Pak­istan, and driv­ing 420 km north along­side the In­dus River, vis­i­tors can en­joy the un­adorned rock paint­ings left on the sur­face of the smooth black rocks on ei­ther side of the In­dus by the an­ces­tors of lo­cal peo­ple. Th­ese paint­ings are still silently wait­ing to be vis­ited. Like an open-air mu­seum, they tell vis­i­tors the long his­tory of the In­dus Val­ley Civil­i­sa­tion.

Dur­ing the third “Colour­ful World” event, many vis­i­tors stopped to ad­mire the large pic­tures hang­ing in the Pak­istan ex­hi­bi­tion area, at­tracted by the coun­try's spec­tac­u­lar cul­tural her­itage sites and nat­u­ral scener­ies.

The Colour­ful World event al­lowed Pak­istan to pro­mote it­self to much larger au­di­ences. It will con­tinue to par­tic­i­pate in sim­i­lar events in the fu­ture, so as to let even more peo­ple from all over the world learn about their won­der­ful coun­try.

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