Islamabad - In student life we used to visit American centre, British Council and French Cultural Centre. These centres were considered as the cultural hub and had reputation in delivering outstanding knowledge and quality cultural events.

The lesson of harmony, friendship and brotherhood between the two nations through cultural, literary and intellectual activities were actively encouraged through these centres. It is because of these centres that majority of youth in Pakistan still consider United State and European countries as their ideal states.

The opening of Chinese Cultural Centre in Islamabad is a breath of fresh air and first drop of rain for a new Pakistan and now Pakistani youth would look China as a model of development and progress which Chinese nation has achieved in a very short span of time.

The opening ceremony was a mega event, as there was immense media coverage by the photographers and the cameramen of different channels. This was either on the direction of the Marryium Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting or You Yi, the Cultural Head of Chinese Embassy who took keen interest together for massive media coverage on this historic opening.

This cultural centre is not less important than China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) because this Chinese Cultural centre will play an essential role to create Pakistan-China cultural corridor. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage was the chief guest on this occasion.

When Marriyum Aurangzeb became the Minister of State for Information, it surprised me as she was a junior parliamentarian and had no experience in media field and but the way she has conducted this ministry for the last five month she has become the most prominent woman leader in the political history of Pakistan.

Marriyum Aurangzeb also made a speech at the opening ceremony.

She said that Pakistan-China has cordial relations and China has always supported Pakistan in the hour of need. She said that Chinese Cultural centre will open the door for young generation of Pakistan to connect them with Chinese culture in Pakistan.

She hoped that this initiative will help to increase people-to-people contact between the two countries. Focusing on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), she said that the visit of Chinese President Xi Jiping in 2015 has helped to promote the cultural activities between two countries. CPEC has not only encouraged the trade and economic cooperation but cultural activities have also gained momentum. Several projects are included in CPEC which will open new era of development in the country. She added.

Sun Weidong is 16th Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan. He had already visited Pakistan twice in 2004 and 2012 with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi.

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong delivered a speech on this occasion in which he thanked Marriyum Aurangzeb and Jamal Shah, the Director General of PNCA. He admired the efforts of the people who worked hard for the opening of the centre. He said, “The opening of Chinnese cultural centre in Pakistan marked a great moment in our bilateral relations and this day has a great significance for both China and Pakistan.”

While addressing the gathering, he further said that Chinese cultural centre in Pakistan has been inaugurated by Chinese President Xi Jinping together with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when he paid a state visit to Pakistan in 2015.

He highlighted the unique cultural resources and believed that Chinese cultural centre in Pakistan will serve as a window and a platform to display and promote Chinese culture through many events such as performances, exhibition, art festival and training program.

He also mentioned that one of the most important themes of this initiative is to strengthen people-to-people bond. He believed that people-to-people bond between China and Pakistan will be further strengthened by the new Chinese cultural centre.

There was a photo exhibition and cultural show by the Chinese visiting cultural troupe. The participants took keen interest in the photo exhibition and cultural show. The participants were enthralled by the performances of the cultural troupe.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.