Sri Lankan monks meet President
President Dr Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan offers huge tourism potential for Buddhist tourists and therefore working on a number of initiatives to attract the Buddhist tourists of the region as well as the world.
The president expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks that called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Wednesday.
Pakistan he said highly valued its ties with Sri Lanka as both countries enjoyed excellent relations in various fields which are based on mutual respect and trust.
The president further stated that Pakistan considered Sri Lanka as close partner and friend and wanted to further improve bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of the two friendly countries.
Welcoming the delegation, the president said that Pakistan was home to the Gandhara Buddhist heritage and a proud custodian of some of the most sacred relics of Buddha offering great potential for promoting religious tourism from Sri Lanka to Pakistan.
He told the delegation to encourage the monks and people particularly tourists of Sri Lanka to visit the Buddhist religious sites in Pakistan as it had far greater number of Buddhist artefacts than any other country in the world.
He added that people-to-people contacts and religious tourism provided excellent platforms to further expand bilateral cooperation.
The President expressed the hope that the delegation would enlighten their followers about Pakistan’s Buddhist heritage and also encourage them to undertake religious tours to Pakistan.
The delegation deeply thanked the Government of Pakistan for making excellent arrangements to facilitate its visit to Buddhist sites.
It also appreciated the measures taken by Pakistan for the renovation and preservation of Buddhist heritage sites.