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Three-day Gandhara symposium begins tomorrow

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will address the inaugural session of a three-day Gandhara symposium, being held here from July 11 to July 13.

The symposium titled ‘Cultural Diplomacy: Reviving Gandhara Civilization and Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan’, is being held under the prime minister’s vision of interfaith harmony, aiming to raise global awareness about the historical and cultural significance of the Gandhara civilization and Buddhist heritage in Pakistan.

Chairman Prime Minister’s Task Force on Gandhara Tourism Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Senator Talha Mehmood will also address its different sessions, besides keynote adresses by different foreign and local dignitaries, said a press release issued here Sunday.

The delegates will also call on President Dr Arif Alvi. The symposium is jointly organized by PM’s Task Force on Gandhara Tourism, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), National Heritage and Culture Division and Archeology Departments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The objective of the conference is to promote and preserve the rich historical and cultural Buddhist heritage in Pakistan. By leveraging the power of cultural diplomacy, the conference further aims to strengthen international relationships, foster mutual understanding and enhance cultural exchange.

The conference will feature speeches and panel discussions coupled with a field visit to sites of religious significance to the Buddhist community while providing a platform for networking, collaboration and the exchange of ideas and best practices.

A number of Buddhist monks from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, South Korea and Sri Lanka would attend the symposium. The sessions would be attended by different foreign panelists including Prof. Ruth Young, Professor of Archaeology, University of Leicester, UK, Yi Yun-Jung Member of Korea Cultural Foundation, Nsihantha Pushpa Kumara Dir Min. of Buddhasana Religious and Cultural Affairs, Sri Lanka, Prof. Xiang Debao Prof, School of International Journalism & Communication Studies, China, Prof. Dr. Hridaya Ratna, former vice chancellor, Lumbini Buddhist University, Nepal, Kim Yu Tae Dir, Multi Culture Museum Seoul, South Korea, and others.

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