Pakistan proud of its ancient Buddhist heritage: PM

ISLAMABAD   -   Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday highlighted that Pakistan was proud of its ancient Buddhist heritage, which flourished in the northwest Pakistan in the shape of Gandhara art and culture, over two thousand years ago.

He underscored the importance that his government attached to interfaith harmony.

The prime minister expressed these views during a meeting with a delegation of esteemed Buddhist leaders who called on him. The delegation is visiting Pakistan to attend a symposium and an exhibition titled “From Gandhara to the World,” organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.  The delegation included Sri Lanka’s Minister for Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Vidura Wikramanayaka, Most Venerable Thich Duc Tuan from Vietnam, Most Venerable Anil Sakya from Thailand and Dr Keshabman Shakya from Nepal.  

Minister for Religious Affairs, Ch. Salik Hussain, Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Cultural Heritage Attaullah Tarar, SAPM Syed Tariq Fatemi also attended the meeting.

The prime minister warmly welcomed the delegation and expressed his gratitude for their participation in the symposium, being held in connection with the ‘Vesak Day’ that commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.

He also acknowledged the valuable contributions of the Buddhist scholars and monks to the promotion of interfaith harmony and understanding.

During the meeting, the prime minister and the delegation discussed ways to strengthen interfaith dialogue and cooperation, as well as opportunities for cultural and academic exchanges between Pakistan and the Buddhist majority countries.

“The meeting concluded with a resolve to continue exploring avenues for mutual understanding and cooperation, and to work together towards a more harmonious and peaceful world. In that connection, the possibility of establishing a joint forum for dialogue and collaboration was especially discussed,” it was added.

The Buddhist leaders appreciated the prime minister’s commitment to fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect for all religions.

They also commended Pakistan’s efforts to preserve and promote its Buddhist heritage sites and cultural artifacts.

The delegation members showed their keen desire to collaborate with Pakistan in preserving and promoting Buddhist heritage in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to continue to play its role in safeguarding and enforcing global peace and making this world a better and more peaceful place for present and succeeding generations.

In his message on the occasion of International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the Prime Minister paid tributes to the all the peacekeepers around the globe.

He said we special gratitude to Pakistani peacekeepers whose services to the global peace and security have been acknowledged by all and sundry.

He said over the sixty-four years of our commitment to the UN peacekeeping, 230,000 Pakistan military personnel including over 500 female peacekeepers have made the nation proud of their stellar contributions.

Shehbaz Sharif said the nation will forever remain in eternal debt to 181 martyrs who laid down their life in the service of global peace and security.

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