ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui received holy relics from Sri Lankan delegation led by S.B.Navinna Minister for Internal Affairs and Cultural Affairs, here on Monday at his ministry.
The delegation comprised of Minister S.B.Navinna, Prof. Kollupitiya Mahinda Sangarakhita Thero, Ms. Navinna daughter of the Minister, K.P. Dayaratne, Private Staff of the Prime Minister and High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Pakistan Maj. Gen (R) C.P. Lokuketagodage.
National History and Literary Division Secretary S Mohsin Haqqani, Joint Secretary Mashhood Mirza and other senior officials of the division were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to Prime Minister said great occasion for us to receive the Holy relics.
He said that after a gap of five years, Pakistan has sent Gandharan Relics of Lord Buddha for a month long exposition in Sri Lanka, for the Buddhist devotees, from May 19 to June 26 on the occasion of Visak Festival in Sri Lanka.
He said that this exhibition was promised by our Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Sri Lanka in January, 2016, adding that he has offered to send the holy relics of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka on regular basis.
He said that after a month long exposition these Buddha relics are returned to Pakistan by delegation led by Minister for Internal Affairs and Cultural Affairs Sri Lanka.
Advisor to Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka and Pakistan inherits rich cultural heritage and strong cultural relations deep rooted in our history, adding that the ties become stronger due to the peace loving religion of Buddhism which is the common feature of our glorious past.
Irfan Siddiqui said that being custodian of the Buddhist heritage of Gandhara, the government of Pakistan is equally participating and celebrating Visak festival.
He said that to renew our deep cultural relations we organize a fist ever Buddhist pilgrimage to the holy places of Buddhism in Taxila and Takht e Bhai, for Buddhist monks and devotees and media persons from Sri Lanka.
He said that the holy relics must contribute to the spiritual satisfaction of people of Sri Lanka.
He said that Pakistan would like to extend ties with Sri Lanka in other fields of life including exchange of Literature, adding that the exchange of literature would also play vital role in under standing the culture of the two countries.
Irfan Siddiqui said that Pakistan would also invite other Bhudist countries people to visit these holy places.
Sri Lankan Minister for Internal Affairs and Cultural Affairs S.B.Navinna appreciated the gesture of the friendship expressed by the prime minister and the adviser to the PM on National History and Literary Heritage for sending sacred relics to Sri Lanka for public exposition during Visakha festival and said it gave a great message of peace, tolerance and harmony between the two countries.
He said that the holy relics exhibited at 17 places across Sri Lanka and thousands of people offered visit to see once glance of the Holy relics.
Later, the Sri Lankan delegation visited Taxila Museum. During the visit the delegation offered their religious rituals and prayed at Taxila Museum.
The delegation members thanked the Pakistan government for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to them.