Symposium on Gandhara civilisation, Buddhist heritage in Pakistan begins today
President Dr Arif Alvi will address the inaugural session as chief guest today (Tuesday)
ISLAMABAD (APP) - A three-day (July 11-13) Gandhara Symposium 2023 titled "Cultural Diplomacy: Reviving Gandhara Civilisation and Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan", will commence today (Tuesday).
The symposium is being organized by the PM Task Force on Gandhara Tourism, the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), and the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Over the next three days, besides the inaugural and concluding sessions, the Gandhara Symposium will have four sessions focused on Gandhara Civilization and Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan; a Round Table; visits to Taxila and Peshawar Museums; and a cultural evening.
President Dr. Arif Alvi will address the Inaugural Session as chief guest, while Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, the Minister of State, Chairman of the PM Task Force on Gandhara Tourism will be the guest of honour.
The Concluding Session will be addressed by Senator Talha Mahmood, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony, a press release issued by ISSI on Monday said.
The speakers at the Gandhara Symposium will be from Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, and Pakistan.
Faith leaders, archaeologists, curators, experts, religious scholars, and academicians will reflect on the richness of Gandhara civilisation and the Buddhist Heritage. Prominent stakeholders from Pakistan's tourism industry will also participate in the Symposium.
The Gandhara Civilisation flourished in the region which is mostly modern-day Pakistan. Situated at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, Gandhara served as a melting pot of diverse cultures and civilizations.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Gandhara civilisation was its artistic creativity. The re-discovered cities of the Gandhara civilisation exhibited many elements of their well-structured and modern lives through paintings, sculptures, coins, pottery and their relation with Buddhism.
Preserving and further promoting the Buddhist Gandhara heritage is of paramount importance for Pakistan. Besides other modes, the digital and social media offer new powerful means for projecting the Buddhist Gandhara heritage in Pakistan to the world.
The sacred sites, sculptures, and artifacts of Gandhara are not just relics from the past; they are also as a source of inspiration for the faithful and tourists from different parts of the world.
One of the key objectives of the Gandhara Symposium will be to create awareness about Gandhara and foster a sense of appreciation for Pakistan's rich and diverse cultural heritage, both domestically and abroad.
Another important objective of the Gandhara Symposium will also be to consider new initiatives that reinforce Pakistan's cultural diplomacy efforts and help promote tourism, particularly faith tourism, in Pakistan.
Against this backdrop, the ISSI is proud to partner with the PM Task Force on Gandhara Tourism; the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and all other relevant departments and institutions in the convening of the Gandhara Symposium 2023, the press release concluded.