ISLAMABAD: A three-day Gandhara symposium, with the theme “Cultural Diplomacy: Reviving Gandhara Civilisation and Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan,” is set to commence today in Islamabad.
The symposium aims to promote and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Gandhara, an ancient civilisation that thrived in the region now known as Pakistan.
Organised by the PM Task Force on Gandhara Tourism, the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), and the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the event has attracted prominent speakers and participants from various countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and China, as well as Pakistan.
The symposium comprises four sessions that focus on exploring the significance of the Gandhara Civilisation and Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan. Additionally, a round table discussion and visits to Taxila and Peshawar Museums are planned, followed by a cultural evening.
The Inaugural Session will feature an address by President Dr. Arif Alvi, who will serve as the chief guest. Ramesh Vankwani, deputy minister and chairman of the task force on Gandhara tourism, will be the guest of honour.
The concluding session will be addressed by Senator Talha Mahmood, Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony.
The Gandhara civilisation, located at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, emerged as a vibrant hub of cultural exchange and creativity. The rediscovered cities of Gandhara showcased their well-structured and modern lifestyles through various art forms such as paintings, sculptures, coins, pottery, and their association with Buddhism.
Recognising the importance of preserving and promoting the Buddhist Gandhara heritage, Pakistan aims to leverage digital and social media platforms to project it to the world. The sacred sites, sculptures, and artifacts of Gandhara not only serve as historical relics but also inspire both the faithful and tourists from around the globe.
The Gandhara Symposium seeks to raise awareness about Gandhara and cultivate a greater appreciation for Pakistan’s diverse cultural heritage, both within the country and internationally.
Additionally, the event aims to explore new initiatives that will bolster Pakistan’s cultural diplomacy efforts and foster tourism, especially faith tourism, in the country.
With its focus on cultural diplomacy, the symposium is poised to contribute significantly to the revival and promotion of Gandhara Civilisation and Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan.
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