Engr Mansoor Ahmed
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) is being tried to get assistance of Thailand government for restoration and maintenance of Ghandhara Archaeological Sites.
This is a healthy and vigorous sign for promotion of tourism. Pakistan is the custodian of Ghandhara Buddhist Civilization. Buddhism took root in Pakistan some 2,300 years ago under Mauryan king Ashoka. There are numerous holy places of Buddhist Civilization in Pakistan at Takhat-i-Bahi, Taxila, Mingora and Swat. Swat Valley has many Buddhist carvings and stupas, and Jehanabad contains a Seated Buddha statue. These statues were deliberately targeted and demolished by Taliban, especially in Swat Valley. They destroyed soft image of Pakistan too by acting and showing extremism.
The Burmese Muslims have been facing terrific, awesome and extreme violence by the ethnic Rakhine Buddhists. The core reason behind this viciousness is fear circulating among Buddhist Rakhines that they would soon become a minority in their ancestral state. It might be possible that another intention encourage them is the destruction of Buddha statue and sculpture.
Therefore, people in majority should think wisely and do not impose their thought and beliefs forcefully, before targeting any religion, faith, culture and civilization. The tourism industry of Pakistan has been on the decline since the start of War on Terror in 2001. After restoration of law and order situation, the tourist flow is once again showing a remarkable increase over the previous two years. If the country becomes more peaceful, visitors are predicted to rise.