A 14-member delegation, comprising Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, visited various sections of Badshahi Masjid and Lahore Fort on Tuesday and appreciated the rich heritage of Pakistan. The delegation was led by Dr Walpole Piyananda, who is the abbot and president of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara, USA.
The delegation left for Islamabad on Tuesday after concluding their two-day visit to the provincial metropolis. Earlier, Dr Piyananda said that Pakistan had always helped Sri Lanka in the hour of need.
He said that every religion had given a message of peace and harmony. He hoped that the Pakistan government would take further steps to promote religious tourism and appreciated the efforts of the government in this regard.
He said that Pakistan was a home to the ancient Buddhist civilization, which had remained hidden from the eyes of the world. The Buddhist monks will visit various Buddhist heritage sites in the country which houses some of the finest remains of the Gandhra civilization and rare Buddhist relics, including the ‘Fasting Buddha’ and ‘Sikri Stupa’ dating back to the 2 AD.
The visit has been arranged by the High Commission of Pakistan Colombo, Sri Lanka with a view to promote religious tourism in Pakistan by showcasing historicity and warm hospitality of the host nation.
The delegation will visit Islamabad, Taxila, Shahbaz Garhi, Takht-e-Bhai and Jehanabad (Swat) and also hold meetings with the officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony. The delegation will meet President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during their visit.