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Efforts Made to Preserve Heritage Sites of Buddhist and Hindu

August 8, 2023

KARACHI — Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput, Chief Secretary of Sindh, has stated that many important Buddhist and Hindu religious sites can be found in the province, and that measures are being taken to preserve and protect these sites in order to entice visitors from countries with a majority Buddhist population to visit Pakistan.

He made the remark while presiding over a meeting at the Sindh Secretariat this afternoon. The topic of discussion was the Gandhara culture and how to increase international tourism to the region.

Chairman of the Gandhara Task Force Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Secretary of the Interior Ajaz Ali Shah, Commissioner of Karachi Muhammad Iqbal Memon, Additional Inspector General of Karachi Javed Alam Odho, Secretary of Culture Abdul Aleem Lashari, Director-General of Culture for Sindh Manzoor Ahmed Khanasro, and all divisional commissioners participated via video link in the meeting.

Culture Secretary Abdul Aleem Lashari briefed the audience, sharing that Sindh was home to 369 cultural landmarks, many of which were temples and stupas of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

The prime minister’s Gandhara Task Force chairman, Dr. Ramesh Kumar, has promised to work to protect the remnants of the Gandhara civilization and the sites where it was created, as well as to seek out new opportunities to foster religious tourism in the country. This move will help Pakistan attract tourists from around the world, particularly Buddhists, and boost the economy.

He went on to say that he has taken foreign ambassadors to see cultural landmarks all across the country and that he was planning a trip to see the stupas and temples of the Gandhara civilisation in different places across Sindh.

On July 11-13, 2023, the first ever international tourism conference will be organized with the express purpose of luring visitors from all over the world.

Dr. Kumar stated that the task force’s ultimate goal was to attract as many as 500,000 tourists to Pakistan.

Following the conference, it was decided that a report detailing the province’s religious locations, existing religious temples, and stupas would be sent to the Prime Minister’s Gandhara Task Force.

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