Gilgit Baltistan: Chinese Language Classes To Extend Trade Relations
Plans for the introduction of Chinese language courses at Gilgit’s Karakoram International University have prompted hopes for increased interaction with China but more fundamental economic and social problems must also be addressed.
Below is an article published by The Express Tribune:
The Karakoram International University (KIU) in Gilgit plans to start Chinese language classes to reduce the communication gap between the people of the two neighbouring countries, official sources told The Express Tribune on Sunday [10 October 2010].
“The management is discussing the idea and classes will be held soon,” officials said, adding that the course will be extremely beneficial for those doing business in China as well as those wishing to acquire higher education in the neighbouring country. The Karakoram Highway is the only land route connecting Pakistan with China via Gilgit.
“Learning Chinese is a basic necessity for the Pakistani business community as no other language is spoken in China,” they said.
With over 10 disciplines already being taught at the university, thousands of students from Gilgit-Baltistan are enrolled at the KIU.
Many feel that teaching Chinese will also have a positive impact on Gilgit’s economy as more people will become involved in the Pak-China trade.
“Pakistan enjoys exemplary ties with China. The language will act as a bridge and further strengthen bilateral cultural and trade ties,” they said.