Aggressive policy needed to attract tourists

TAXILA, March 24: Pakistan needs to adopt aggressive tourism policy to attract religious tourists from across the globe as it has well preserved sites of Gandhara civilisation and tremendous collection of antiquities.

These comments were expressed by the five-member Sri Lankan delegation comprising monks, scholars and researchers who visited ancient sites of Dharmarajika Stupa, Buddhist Julian monastery and Taxila Museum on Wednesday and offered their religious rituals. The delegation was comprising Chief Prelate Dr Akuratiye Nanda Thero, former Vice Chancellor Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, Prof B D Nandadeva, Professor Department of Fine Arts University of Kelanyina Nimal De Silva, Director General Sri Lankan Central Cultural Fund Ven Godamune Paannaseeha, Chief Research Officer in Archaeology Abhayasini project and MHMN Bandara, Minister Consular Sri Lankan embassy in Pakistan.

The delegation is on its visit to Pakistan to participate in a conference on ‘Gandhara – the Cradle of Buddhist Civilisation’ which was organised in Islamabad by All Pakistan Buddhist Society.

Talking to newsmen, Chief Prelate Dr Akuratiye said that Pakistan had rich Buddhist treasure and it would be made hub of Buddhist religious and cultural tourism if Pakistan unveiled its potential in the Buddhist countries by publications, organising seminars and exhibitions to fetch tourist from these countries.

Professor Nimal De Silva, Director General Sri Lankan Central Cultural Fund while talking on the occasion said: “In Sri Lanka, Buddhism is the religion of nearly 70 per cent of the island’s 19 million people but they have little knowledge about Pakistan.”

He said that Pakistan should publish its Buddhist treasure in Sri Lankan language so that the same may be distributed in the temples, centers of the religious teachings, libraries to provide the information about what the rich Buddhist treasure Pakistan possess.

Earlier, on arrival at the Taxila Museum, Curator of the Museum Abdul Nasir along with his staff welcomed the delegation and gave a detailed briefing on the history and important development of the museum.

On the arrival, the delegation was received by Director General Department of Archaeology and Museum Dr Fazal Dad Kakar, Deputy Director Bhadur Khan and Curator Taxila Museum Abdul Nasir Khan.

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