Govt Plans to Set up a Buddhist Trail in KP

The government is working to develop a Buddhist trail by exploring religious sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab in order to attract the followers of Buddhism and monks from across the globe.

This was disclosed by Zulfikar Bukhari, who has recently taken charge as the Chairman of Pakistan Tourism Development Cooperation (PTDC).

The initiative is being taken by the government as part of its plan to market religious tourism by introducing its rich Buddhist heritage to the world. The trail would start from Swabi and Swat, and culminate at Taxila, which had numerous Buddhist sites.

“We will start by focusing Buddhist sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and gradually move down to Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan where numerous ancient sites of various religions are located,” he said while reiterating the government’s resolve to explore the untapped potential in the tourism industry.

Chairman PTDC also hinted at engaging foreign Buddhists to attract their investment for preserving their cultural heritage.

Sacred places of other religions, including Sikhism and Hinduism, are also scattered all over Pakistan and the PTDC is planning to provide facilities there to attract their followers not only from across the country but also from abroad, he added.

He said the students and academia would be engaged to formulate a policy and help the government promote tourism, as a collective resolve and efforts are required for this purpose.

They would also help the government demonstrate its interest in preserving and showcasing its non-Islamic heritage, besides projecting a soft pluralistic image of Pakistan internationally, he added.

Zulfikar Bukhari said that everyone in the country could practice his religion freely as per the vision of Pakistan’s forefathers and that of the prime minister, who was a strong proponent to make the country a welfare state on the pattern of the State of Madina.

He said that tourism contributes around 10 percent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) globally but unfortunately, in Pakistan, only 2.9% of this highly profitable industry is included in the GDP.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said, the PTDC aims to increase tourism’s share to 10 percent of GDP which would help the industry add over Rs. 20 billion in the national kitty.

Various areas in Pakistan like Taxila, Takht -i- Bahi, Mardan, Peshawar, and Lahore are home to some of the rarest Buddhist relics. Pakistan has been the cradle of Buddhist art and culture since time immemorial.

  • Lanat ullah he
    To the peoples who are trying to establishing a non Muslim culture in the Muslims country.

    • They’re not “creating” it, they’re open the hidden gems for tourism, What’s wrong with you? either its religious or not, it just for tourist attraction, even Saudia is doing the same thing.

    • Muhammad umar, sir ma ap ki feelings ki kadar krta hoon magar Pakistan khali muslmano ka nhi ha dosaray religion ka bhi ha so plz asay comments pas kr ky maray Pakistan ki image mat kharab kigiya kyu ky hum ny dosri countries ko ya message dana ha ka hum bohat peaceful country ha. Or wasay bhi allah rabul muslimin nhi ha rabul alimin ha or hazrqt Muhammad s.a.w.w rqhqt ul muslimin nhi hq rahmat ul alimin ha got it.

      • Sir ye dajali fitno ka door ha hamain in say bachna chahye jitna ho skay ye hamaray kabi dost nai ho saktay Pakistan sab k liye achi jagha ha main manta hn yahan koi b a sakta ha Pakistan main sirf musalmano ki b bohat cheeAin ha tourism k liye ye apni alag say I adat gah bna saktay ha is tarha khulay aam but parasti Sara sir buttoon ki poja ko faroogh Dana ha

        • but i think, asal fitna ne bachne ka tariqa ye he k, hum milawat na kren, choti gawahi na den, kamzoron ka haq na khaen etc.

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