Islamabad, 10 July 2023 (TDI):  A three-day Gandhara Symposium is set to take place from July 11-13 in Islamabad. This 3-day event aims to explore, revive, and restore the true essence and core values of the Gandhara civilization.

This symposium is titled “Cultural Diplomacy: Reviving Gandhara Civilization & Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan”.

The theme of the event is to deeply look into Gandhara’s archaeological significance and raise awareness about the culture of this historic civilization, along with promoting the importance of Buddhism in religious tourism.

The Prime Minister Task Force on Gandhara Tourism and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are collaborating to arrange this meaningful event.

Scholars, Researchers, and Monks from different countries will be participating in the event, which depicts Pakistan’s positive image and underscores Pakistan’s responsible role in promoting religious harmony worldwide.

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Gandhara Civilization

Pakistan, due to its diverse land, is home to various ancient civilizations, and the Gandhara civilization is one of them. The history of the Gandhara civilization could be traced back to the 1st–5th centuries BCE when this civilization was attaining its heights.

In the year 2 BC, Buddhism was adopted as the state religion, and it prevailed for more than 1000 years. During this time, this region achieved great importance as a centre for Buddhist art and culture.

The Gandhara civilization played a significant role in the spread of Buddhism to other parts of Asia, including China and Central Asia. The region’s rich cultural heritage and religious significance make it an important destination for religious tourism.

The Pakistan region, from Taxila in Punjab to Peshawar and various areas of the KPK province, including Jalalabad in Afghanistan, is considered the epicentre of this renowned heritage.

In recent times, Pakistan has made efforts to promote religious harmony and preserve its ancient sacred sites. The Government has taken steps to protect and restore Buddhist relics and monuments, ensuring that they are accessible to both local and international visitors.

This conference can be seen as part of the efforts in this regard and has the potential to play an important role in this aspect.