First-ever Vesak Festival in Pakistan
first-ever Buddhist Vesak Festival organised by the Government of
Pakistan was opened in Islamabad on May 29, 2016. On the invitation of
the Government of Pakistan, a 43-member Sri Lankan delegation is
currently in Pakistan to attend the Festival. Sri Lanka is the only
country which was invited for this Festival. The Sri Lankan delegation
led by Minister for Primary Industries, Daya Gamage and Deputy Minister
for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Anura Gamage includes senior
bhikkhus, religious scholars, pilgrims and media representatives.
Advisor to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National History and
Literary Heritage, Irfan Siddiqui was the chief guest on the inaugural
ceremony of the festival at Islamabad.
The High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Pakistan Maj. Gen. (R) Jayantha
Lokuketagodage was also present.
Siddiqui said, "We are proud to be the custodians of holy relics and
Buddhist monasteries, which are an assets for the whole mankind". He
expressed the hope that mutual cooperation, friendship and people to
people contact will further cement the already existed relations between
the two countries. "Pakistan is committed to safeguard and preserve not
only all the Buddhist archeological sites and monuments but also ritual
places of other religions as well in the best possible manner,"he said.
He told the gathering that on the instructions of Prime Minister
Sharif sacred Gandhara relics of the Buddha were sent to Sri Lanka for a
month-long exposition as a token of friendship from the people of
Minister for Primary Industries Daya Gamage thanked the Government of
Pakistan for organising the first-ever Vesak Festival in Pakistan and
warm hospitality extended to the Sri Lankan delegation. The Sri Lankan
delegation visited the Dharmarajika Stupa, the Sirkap site and offered
religious rituals. The delegation also visited the Taxila Museum.