Govt to preserve Gandhara art, culture

ISLAMABAD: The government would do everything to preserve the Gandhara art and culture, Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada said on Monday.He was addressing the opening ceremony of the Gand hara Peace Festival at SobiaMahal, Mera Bhagwal Bhara Kahu on the outskirts of the capital on Monday. The event was organised by the Gandhara Art and Culture Association in collaboration with the City School System. There would be a series of programmes to highlight the importance of Gandhara art and culture.Addressing the opening ceremony, Gandhara Art and Culture Association Chairman Salim Saifullah Khan said that Pakistan is the cradle of ancient civilisations and the most prominent among those is the Gandhara civilisation. “I personally belong to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is in fact the modern name of Gandhara,” he said, adding,“I am proud of being a Muslim and thankful to God for givng me birth in a Muslim family and country. Islam is the name of peace and it gives us the lesson of peace and harmony but unfortunately we are labelled as extremists.”He further said, “I hope, one day everyone would understand the lesson of Islam and the terrorism in the region would end and there would be prosperity and love everywhere in the area.” He said that our objective to organise this festival is to create awareness among the Buddhist people and show the places where Mahayana Buddhism is originated from. “I as a former minister, parliamentarian, and Gandhara Art and Culture Association chairman extend my invitation to the Buddhist community to come and visit these places themselves,” he said. He reminded that when the Korean Buddhist chief monk visited the area remarked that although this place belongs to you physically but spiritually it belongs to us.Saifullah welcomed all the distinguish guests in the opening ceremony and thanked everybody who helped in making this event a reality. He especially thanked City School Chairperson Farzana, in collaboration with Amna Aurangzeb for her persistence hard work in making the event possible. He also thanked Zahid Butt, the owner of the farm house. The event was attended by Chinese, Japanese, and European guests. They were welcomed by boys and girls in cultural dress. The crowd was mesmerising. Cultural dance, peacock dance, and live performance by well known singer Anwar Rafi were also part of the event. The ceremony started with recitation of the holy Quran, while national anthem was also played on the occasion. 

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