Senator Mushahid Hussain honored with Silk Road award at BRI forum

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BEIJING: Senator Mushahid Hussain on Thursday was awarded the Silk Road Award during the Media Cooperation Forum on the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) in Beijing. The recognition was for his contributions to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The award ceremony took place on the sidelines of the 3rd Belt and Road Forum and was presented by Information and Communication of the Communist Party of China Chief of Media Li Shulei, who is also a member of the party’s top policymaking political bureau.

In his acceptance speech, Senator Mushahid said he was honoured to receive the first-ever ‘Silk Road News Award.’ He extended the achievement to the people of Pakistan. Two other recipients of this prestigious award were from Uganda and Russia. They were chosen from among 4,485 participants representing 80 countries.

The senator acknowledged China’s enduring support and consistent investment in projects like CPEC. Furthermore, he also highlighted the importance of BRI, stating that it represents a new platform for international economic cooperation and is the most significant development and diplomatic initiative of the 21st century.

The core of such an initiative, he added, is people-to-people connectivity and Pakistan-China relations, especially the role of media, think tanks, academia, youth, and NGOs, working towards a more ‘open, inclusive, and interconnected world’.

Quoting Chairman Mao, Senator Hussain said, “An idea becomes a material force when it is grasped by millions and millions of people,” referring to BRI as a “material force in the world,” bringing benefits and opportunities to a global audience.

Middle East situation

While addressing the international atmosphere in Gaza, the senator expressed his concerns about the Middle East and referred to it as ‘genocide in Gaza,’ where the West’s support of Israel’s crimes is complicit in the ongoing conflict. He criticised the West’s stance on human rights and democracy, calling it ‘double standards’.

Mushahid showed his solidarity with the oppressed Palestinians, terming the situation as a ‘struggle between the oppressed and oppressors’. BRI is a path forward, based on connectivity and cooperation, with CPEC serving as a guarantor for a better future for Pakistan and its people, he added. He encouraged taking ownership of CPEC to ensure its successful conclusion.

Challenge of fake news

Hussain concluded by addressing the challenge of fake news, falsehoods, and fiction, describing them as the most significant threats to the BRI. He called for a collective and cooperative approach among BRI countries on the media front, emphasizing that a “collective voice” would be a potent force multiplier.

The ceremony was attended by Vice Ministers for International Communication from the Publicity and International Departments of the Communist Party of China. It was hosted by ‘People’s Daily’ at its headquarters and attended by the President and Editor-in-Chief of ‘People’s Daily,’ the official organ of the Communist Party of China, along with 200 journalists from over 60 countries.

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