LAHORE: A delegation comprising senior Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka visited various sections of Badshahi Masjid and Lahore Fort.
The 14-member delegation, led by Dr Walpole Piyananda, who is the chief abbot and president of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara, USA, appreciated the rich heritage of Pakistan.
Dr Piyananda said that said that every religion had given a message of peace and harmony. He said Pakistan had always helped Sri Lanka in the hour of need. He appreciated the government’s efforts and hoped it would take further steps to promote religious tourism.
He said that Pakistan was a home to the ancient Buddhist civilization, which had remained hidden from the eyes of the world.
The monks visited various Buddhist heritage sites in the country which houses some of the finest remains of the Gandhra civilization and rare Buddhist relics including the ‘Fasting Buddha’ and ‘Sikri Stupa’ dating back to the 2 A.D.
The visit has been arranged by the High Commission of Pakistan Colombo, Sri Lanka to promote religious tourism in Pakistan by showcasing historicity and warm hospitality of the host nation.
The delegation will visit Islamabad, Taxila, Shahbaz Garhi, Takht-e-Bhai and Jehanabad (Swat). They will also hold meetings with the officials of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony and meet President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi during their visit.