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Gandhara Faith | Ramesh’s Efforts in Promoting Religious Tourism

July 18, 2023

ISLAMABAD – Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Minister of State and Chairman of the Prime Minister’s (PM) Task Force on Gandhara Tourism, emphasized on Wednesday the need to further investigate the sacred sites and monuments constructed during the Gandara era in order to promote religious tourism in the country. 

The PM’s Task Force organized a trip to the archaeological sites and caverns of the Buddha in Shah Allah Ditta, D-12. The event was attended by the Thai and Indonesian ambassadors, diplomats, members of civil society, and the media. 

Ramesh told the media, “Islamabad Capital Territory’s history is as ancient as human history.”

The chairman reported the existence of Hinduism and Buddhism artifacts in the nation’s capital. He emphasized the importance of exploring these sites to attract international tourists to Pakistan for religious tourism purposes. 

He believed that Pakistan was home to an abundance of heritage sites, monuments, and historic structures, which exemplifies the complex historical layers of this region. Gandhara art is a great and important attraction for Buddhists, making Pakistan’s rich Gandhara heritage a globally recognizable phenomenon.

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“Gandhara’s archaeological sites, such as Takht-i-Baht and Taxila, display remarkable Buddhist artifacts that represent the region’s rich heritage,” he explained. 

The Buddha’s caves in Shah Allah Ditta, according to him, are a source of veneration for all religions. In the past, every religious cleric had served masses and preached a moral principles lesson. 

The minister stated that the current administration was making every effort to promote Gandhara tourism in the country.

As people from all over the country flocked to the archaeological sites, he predicted that the Buddha caves would once again serve as a religious interfaith hub.

“I will present my recommendations to PM Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to promote the tourism industry,” he concluded.

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