Chinese Cemetery (Danyor)
|Owned by||People's Republic of China|
|Size||1600 sq. meter|
|No. of graves||88|
|No. of interments||140|
The Chinese cemetery (Chinese: 吉尔吉特中国烈士陵园), locally known as China Yadgar (Shina: چائنہ یادگار means "China Memorial") is a Chinese graveyard located in Danyor, about 10 kilometers away from capital city Gilgit across the Gilgit River. The cemetery is the final resting place of Chinese workers and engineers who died during the construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) in Pakistan in the 1960s and 1970s. The cemetery was established in the early 1970s. The tombstones placed over the graves contain epitaph inscriptions in Chinese characters.
In August 2011, a Chinese delegation consisting of retired People's Liberation Army soldiers, journalists and a relative of a worker visited the cemetery to pay homage to the deceased workers. The visit was widely publicized in the Chinese media. Prior to departing for Pakistan, they met the Pakistani ambassador to China Masood Khan, who appreciated their gesture and commented: "These soldiers laid down their lives for Pak-China friendship. We value their sacrifice. Their legend will live forever." In April 2013, a ceremony was held at the cemetery in which key Pakistani and Chinese officials were present, including the consular of the Chinese embassy Zhang Lianyou, officials of the China Road and Bridge Corporation, members of the Gilgit–Baltistan Legislative Assembly and Pakistani law enforcement personnel. During the ceremony, tributes were paid to the buried and a pledge was laid on behalf of the Chinese government for a renovation of the cemetery. Pakistani officials present at the occasion lauded the contributions of the Chinese workers as a symbol of longstanding China–Pakistan bilateral relations.
The Karakoram Highway is an international highway which runs across the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass, connecting China's Xinjiang region with the neighbouring Gilgit–Baltistan territory of Pakistan. It serves as a transport link between Pakistan and China. Construction of the highway was carried out jointly between the governments of Pakistan and China from 1966 to 1977. During the construction, approximately 5,000 people are estimated to have died of which nearly a hundred included Chinese workers, mostly in landslides and falls. However, the numbers may be higher.
The cemetery remains an important visitor attraction in Gilgit.
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- Mir, Shabbir (5 April 2013). "Pak-China friendship: Decades-old Chinese cemetery to be renovated". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
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- "Retired Chinese soldiers pay homage to KKH martyrs". Frontier Star. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "25th Anniversary of the Karakoram Highway (1978 - 2003)". Pakistan Post. May 16, 2006. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- Mir, Shabbir (6 June 2013). "Ties that bind: Chinese cemetery to be renovated by October". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 7 June 2013.